Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square Portrait Session by Victoria Lemos

Not too long ago I worked with Ashlee, an aspiring singer who has just started a YouTube channel for her singing videos. She wanted photos for social media use and even opted to get her makeup done by my sister and fellow freelancer, Nicole (@nicioleandrea_mua on Instagram). 

I wanted to capture her personality, and Pioneer Square was the perfect location for bringing character to the images. We started shooting at a local coffee shop and then began walking through the streets and alleyways. The portraits came out beautiful, and I was pleased with her choice of outfits too. It was supposed to rain the entire day, but thankfully we shot during a window in between light showers. The gloom provided the most gorgeous, natural lighting. Nicole did a great job with her makeup too, which worked to enhance Ashlee's natural beauty. 

Here are a few of my favorite portraits! Check out Ashlee on her YouTube channel (Ashlee Tarro) and follow Nicole on Instagram @nicoleandrea_mua! 

U-District Creative Portraits by Victoria Lemos

I'm so excited about this session - I can barely contain myself! My cousin was in town for a few days, so we planned to meet up & shoot. I've wanted to shoot Veronica for a while now - she has the edgiest style, perfect for city settings in Seattle. We met up at Cafe Allegro, a grundgy coffee lounge hidden in an alleyway in U-District. After catching up over our drinks (I had the spiciest chai tea I've ever had in my life - it ACTUALLY was spicy, what the heck?!), we took a few pictures in the alleyway and then walked across the street to UW campus. 

Usually, I'll always create mood boards for my creative sessions ahead of time. I always love styling my models depending on their looks, our chosen location, the setting, weather, etc. but this time I let Veronica show up with whatever she might've had on. I trust her style that much. As expected, she showed up in the coolest outfit ever; I couldn't have styled her any better myself. She had just found the leather jacket the day before at a nearby thrift shop & had her hair styled in the prettiest side braid. Her hat, glasses, & chunky boots served as perfect accessories for the entire look. 

Walking through UW campus & finding cool areas to shoot in wasn't hard at all & that's why I always love shooting there. The architecture is so photogenic & you can even find some pretty greenery every few feet or so. There's a great mixture of everything, which worked excellent for what we had in mind. 

While working on these images I noticed something amazing - not only am I refining my editing skills but my shots are looking more crisp, clean, & focused. I recently started experimenting with back button focus & it might just be the greatest thing I've ever decided to try. Not only that, but I finally bought a simple UV filter for my Sigma 50 lens so that definitely proved to be worth it. All in all, I couldn't be happier about this shoot. I'm so thankful Veronica & I were able to meet up & I'm glad she loves the images just as much as I do. 

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Pioneer Square High School Senior Portraits by Victoria Lemos

It's finally November which can only mean one thing - the beginning of slow season & time off to focus on other life-related things (LSAT - PLEASE PRAY FOR ME & relaxation during the holidays)! September/October was definitely my busiest set of months yet, and it's primarily due to all of my senior sessions that had to get done before high school yearbook deadlines. Audrey wrapped up my busy season in the best way possible by booking her shoot in downtown Seattle during a sunny weekend. 

We met up in Pioneer Square and immediately realized we had scheduled our shoot on GAME DAY. The Seahawks were playing here at home & the game had just ended. Thankfully they won, so the crowds of people we had to maneuver our way through were happy (for the most part) & we had (close to) no problems! Nothing I couldn't handle. 

All in all, Audrey and I had a great time shooting together. She was so sweet to work with & we were able to achieve a comfortable & seamless experience despite the crowds of football fans we encountered.

Thank you, Audrey, for being my last 2018 high school senior to work with! I'm so looking forward to next year & what's to come for Victoria Lemos Photography.

Congrats to the class of 2018!

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Pioneer Square High School Senior Portraits by Victoria Lemos

This senior session was so much fun. Genesis knew she wanted a city look for her shots, so we discussed potential locations, and she automatically chose Pioneer Square. It's such a popular choice amongst seniors and understandably so. The cool alleyways, old brick buildings, and green vines make for the perfect edgy and urban senior session. She even let me know beforehand that she wanted a few creative shots incorporated as well when it came to editing. I love being creative with my editing and having fun so this definitely got me excited! I love when my clients are more than willing and wanting to be creative with me.

We shot at 9 am on a Sunday morning, which turned out to be perfect. Not only was the lighting bright but not harsh at all, the streets were nearly empty. We were so easily able to stop every five minutes of walking and pose in front of a building without anyone photobombing in the background. We started in Pioneer Square and then ended up in a car rental garage, which was the perfect end. Genesis changed outfits and wore a pretty pink sweater that went so well with the pretty morning colors in the city. This session was definitely a favorite of mine! Congrats Genesis! 

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Seattle Pike Place Market Portrait Session by Victoria Lemos

For this particular session, Jennifer wanted casual portraits, so we decided to walk through Pike on a weekday morning. I wasn't expecting the streets to be so empty so I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to shoot in the more familiar/iconic spots with no horrible distractions. Jennifer brought along a few outfits to play with and I'm so happy she decided on more neutral colors. The red serves as just the right amount of pop, especially with the city backdrop. Here are a few of our favorite images!

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Downtown Seattle High School Senior Portraits by Victoria Lemos

My second post in one day but I have a good reason for it! I'm trying to get as many completed sessions up for August before September begins in a few hours. I'm so happy with how amazing this summer was for me & my small business. I got to work with so many amazing people. I look back on this summer & realize I was able to not only branch my business more into shooting college grads, but I also had the time to shoot creatively, which is always good in order to keep a healthy balance. I'm looking forward to fall/winter and what these upcoming seasons have in store for me. 

This particular session was awesome. Linh lives in Kennewick but wanted to get her senior portraits taken in the heart of Seattle, downtown. She and her family drove 4 hours to meet me near Pike, and from there, we hit three different locations: a cool building rooftop, Pike Place market, and the Great Wheel waterfront. She also brought along a wide range of outfits to play with, which gave each setting we shot in, a distinct look. Linh was giving me more creative/fashion oriented poses & I loved working with her for that! The session was quite long but we created some good stuff & she was happy with the results. 

These images were shot with my new Sigma 50mm 1.4, which I am very much in love already & I'm so excited to use it even more for my upcoming shoots this fall. 

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Pioneer Square Fashion Blog Portraits by Victoria Lemos

This shoot consisted of two different outfit looks starting in Pioneer Square and then Green Lake Park. Crystal runs a blog by the name of The Crystal Avenue. She was taking a solo adventure trip to Seattle for Memorial Day weekend and contacted me a few days prior to see if I happened to have open availability for that weekend. I was so happy I did! We booked the session ASAP and met up on a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon. 

This was her first time here in Seattle so it was really great getting to talk with her about what she had plans to do and see while she was here. She's actually from San Jose, California, which was cool to know because I have family who lives up there that I visit every two years or so. In fact, I'll be taking a roadtrip with family down there in the next two weeks! Hopefully I'll be capturing some pretty landscape scenery during my stay. 

Suprisingly Pioneer Square wasn't too crowded but once we got to Green Lake, everyone was out cooling down in the water and taking walks through the park. It was a bit tricky practicing patience, trying not to get any people in the background of our shots, but I'm really excited about how they turned out and I'm so happy Crystal and I were able to work together! Check out her blog here

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. 

Coffee Shop College Grad Portraits by Victoria Lemos

My third college grad portrait session; I'm honestly loving these all so much! Believe it or not, there is definitely a difference between shooting high school portraits and shooting college grad portraits. The excitement and feeling of accomplishment is there for both but unlike the poised and more uniform shots I aim for during high school senior shoots, college grads seem to desire a greater level of creativity for their shoots... maybe because they are finally done with school, and so they go into their shoot with a more carefree attitude! 

For this session, I shot with a UW graduate named Chengsu who knew she wanted portraits taken in a coffee shop somewhere in Seattle. Seattle coffee shops are my favorite to look for and discover. The interiors are always so unique, ranging from hipster to modern, and they're just cool spaces to be in to meet up with friends or catch up on homework/editing. We originially meant to meet up at Elm Coffee Roasters in Pioneer Square but didn't realize it closed at 5 pm (it was a Sunday, duh!). We then decided on Slate Coffee Roasters in U-District, and it was perfect! I've been there once before and shot portraits for Gold Magazine so I knew of the perfect spots for best lighting. Plus, it wasn't even too packed that day! 

I'm excited to share these simple yet cute and unique portraits and I look forward to shooting with more creative college grads & high school seniors! Congrats Chengsu!

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.