Posts in Family
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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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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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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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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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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Bowman Bay Sunset Beach Session | WHidbey Island Family Photographer

What can I say about this amazing family?? First of all - they are FUN, and they love each other fiercely. I had the pleasure of working with this beautiful family last year, when I convinced them that instead of taking pictures in their backyard (which they had always ever done), we should walk on the ferry and go get milkshakes in Port Townsend. We all had a blast - it was a major adventure and a session I'll never forget.   

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Whidbey Island Beach Session | Seattle Family Photographer

Singing songs, climbing trees, running in and out of the surf. These are the things we do during family sessions. We play, we have fun, we make memories. Or rather - YOU make memories, and I capture them for you to hold on to for years to come. 

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Deception Pass State Park Sunset Beach Session | Whidbey Island Family Photographer

This session was so much fun! Not only did this amazing family fly all the way from Minnesota to shoot with me (okay they were staying in Seattle for a family wedding), but mama is also a photographer (no pressure, right)?!

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A Midwest Family Session at Mahoney State Park | Whidbey Island Family Photographer

The girls and I head home every summer for a few weeks to visit the family in Omaha, Nebraska. We soak up the sun (and the heat), spend our days exploring the zoo and splash pads, and our nights catching fireflies and shooting fireworks. It's a magical time that we look forward to all year. 

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Rocky Point Beach Sunset Session | Whidbey Island Family Photographer

As we waded through tall grasses to get to the field of wildflowers just on the other side of the parking lot, I couldn't help thinking how lucky we are to live in a place where such beautiful spots are literally only a stone's throw away. 

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