What to Wear for Fall Family Pictures | Kara Chappell Photography | Fall Styling Tips

Fall on Whidbey Island may be a bit gray, but there is so much beauty to be found in the Pacific Northwest this time of year. First of all, gray is a lovely neutral background, so the families I document this time of year seem to pop a bit more out of the frame. You can also take advantage of one of the PNW’s most recognizable weather conditions - fog! If you’re up for a morning adventure session, the fog will add dimension, context, and a bit of mystery to your gallery.

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Rosario Bay Sunset Session | Powers Family | Kara Chappell Photography

I’m getting caught up on blogging, and sharing one of my FAVORITE sessions from last fall. The light, the location, and adorable girlies - it was a perfect night. I still go back to these images as some of my favorite in my portfolio. Maybe it’s because the light is so dreamy. Maybe because I smile every time I look at the joy and love this family shares.

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Fall Sunset Family Session | Deception Pass State Park | Kara Chappell Photography

The busy season is here (for photographers at least), but I’m hanging in there and actually (dare I say?) enjoying the season?! I’ve learned some hard lessons over the years and one of them is to not overbook myself. So I’m catching up on blogging from the summer, editing from last month, and shooting sessions this month (only 1-2 per week), and with school starting (yay!), I’m finding peace and enjoying my work.

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Valley of Fire Adventure Session | Kara Chappell Photography | SEATTLE Family Photographer

Words like “epic” and “other-worldly” were created for places like the Valley of Fire. An hour from the Las Vegas strip, this natural wonder was the perfect setting for a truly adventurous family session. From the Mars-like landscape to the dueling lizards (like Mortal Kombat street-fighting lizards) I knew I wasn’t in Kansas (or Washington) anymore when I stepped into this gorgeous park.

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Mt. Baker Adventure Session | Kara Chappell Photography |Washington Family Photographer

I’d love to say that I’m a super-adventurous, ready-to-climb-a-mountain kind of gal. But I’d be lying. The truth is I try to leave Whidbey Island as little as possible. (I even cancelled my Costco membership when we moved here!). I’m a homebody, and I’m not ashamed to say it friends!

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Top 8 Locations for Family Pictures on Whidbey Island (and beyond) | Kara Chappell Photography

I remember when I first moved to Whidbey Island and was slightly (okay really) overwhelmed by the number of gorgeous locations for family pictures. There were so many beautiful spots - but which had the features I was looking for and access to the type of views I needed?

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Fort Ebey Sunset Session | Kara Chappell Photography | Washington Family Photographer

This family has been one of my faves ever since they moved across the street from us two years ago. Okay, we already had an awesome neighborhood, but the DuBois fam definitely added to the fun. And now that we know them and love them, of course the military would move them!!

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What to Wear for Family Photos | Kara Chappell Photography | Summer Style Tips

Summer is here (finally!), and the weather is PERFECT for family pictures in the PNW. Don’t know what to wear? I got you boo! Welcome to my new seasonal styling tips! I’ll be sharing palettes and pieces I love and recommend to my clients throughout the year. I want to help you visualize a stunning wardrobe that will take your family photo session to the next level.

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Motherhood Mini Sessions | Kara Chappell Photography | Rosario Bay

Love is at the heart of what I do. Love and mamas. Mamas give. And give. We don't ask for much, and often put the needs of our family above our own. We see the light in our friends WAY before we acknowledge it in ourselves. We doubt our beauty. We doubt our talent. We doubt our strengths.

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Home at Last | Whidbey Island Family Photographer

Military homecomings have my heart. They are always special, unique, and emotional. It’s even more special when I get to document a homecoming for a friend, especially someone I admire and look up to as a mother and military spouse.

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Rocky Point Summer Sunset Session | Whidbey Island Family Photographer

Military families are constantly in transition. So much so that you’d think they wouldn’t have time for annual family pictures, or that it would be too challenging to plan a family photo session with changing schedules, dets, and deployments.

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A Night in Georgetown | Whidbey Island Family Photographer

Now that Ryan has been in the airlines for about two years, I’m starting to take advantage of the non-rev perks and plan a few trips here and there when our schedules allow for it. We found a weekend that worked where I could go see a few friends in D.C. and shoot a few sessions last month. Friend time and time to recharge my creative batteries? A total win-win, right?

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Help Wanted: Business Assistant Position Available | Whidbey Island Family Photography

Would you like to join my team? Or know someone who is looking for part-time, creative work in the Oak Harbor area? Kara Chappell Photography is growing, and I’m looking for someone to help me grow and manage my social media and back-end business tasks. Apply here!

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Finding Myself Again - February 365 Project | Whidbey Island Family Photographer

For most people, January is the start of a new year. I like to think of February as my own personal starting line. Maybe it’s the holiday hangover that creeps into January, or the optimism of resolutions that keep me dreaming all month, but for me personally, reality sets in on February 1st, and the short month FLIES by before I know it.

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A Month of Firsts - January 365 Project | Whidbey Island Family Photographer

I just completed my first month of my 365 Project, and I don’t feel like throwing my camera out the window. #winning! A “365 Project” is photographer-speak for taking a picture a day for a year. And if that sounds easy, it’s actually not. Because you definitely don’t take just one picture a day (at least I don’t). You take 50, or 400 pictures a day, and then you cull, edit, organize, and repeat.

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Fair Winds and Following Seas | Whidbey Island Family Photographer

I'm still in denial that I'm not going to be grabbing margaritas with this beautiful mama anytime soon. The VR-61 family was so blessed to know, work, and play with the McColloughs. As the outgoing CO (Skipper) of the squadron, Gabe was my hubby Ryan’s boss, and his awesome wife Lindsey was the chief-party-planner of our spouse’s club. She made a huge effort to be here and support the spouses in our squadron, even though her home (and often kiddos) were in the Midwest.

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Hurricane Ridge Family Mountain Session | Seattle Family Adventure Photographer

This session was such a game changer for me. First of all, I love this woman. Whitney took our family pictures on Whidbey Island last year, and they are so beautiful that they cover most of wall space that was left in my home (I may have a “hanging pictures on my wall problem” - or else I need a bigger house!). Ever since then we stayed in touch and developed both a personal and professional friendship - as we are both photographers, military spouses, and mamas to two wild and awesome kiddos.

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Rosario Bay Family Vacation Session | Whidbey Island Family Photographer

Shelly and her boys found their happy place during a summer trip to the San Juan Islands. They traveled all the way from Texas, and now come back every year to enjoy some quality time together while taking in the beauty of the area.

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Savannah + Nick | Rosario Bay Couples Photographer

I am finally getting back with the program and starting to blog all the gorgeous sessions I was lucky enough to shoot this fall. With the weather getting rainy, I can’t think of anything better than grabbing a comfy blanket, lighting a pumpkin candle, and sharing Savannah and Nick’s amazing couples session with you.

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Bowman Bay Fall Family Session | Whidbey Island Family Photographer

I met Carly and Bobby last fall, when we squeezed in the last possible photo session of the season. And it was COLD. Like, had to wear coats, seeking shelter indoors cold. They were amazing troopers, but we knew that this year we wanted warmth, sun, and clear skies.

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