Windswept at Discovery Park.

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 Video Nicole, Travis and I had a super fun time during their windy Spring engagement shoot at Discovery Park.  We started at the Lighthouse, took a walk on the beach, rolled around in the grass between some World War II … Continue reading

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Remember the best part of your day everyday

Finnegan's awakeLast Summer, my family and I traveled (I mostly ate) through France and Germany for five weeks. My husband planned a fantastic castle themed trip to share his love of medieval history and lore with our two boys to learn about European history through the guise of looking at old armor, castles and weapons.

Our days were occupied with visiting and exploring more than 26 castles throughout Brittany and the Loire Valley in France then the Rhine Valley and the Mosel Valley in Germany. The kids loved exploring all the dungeons, ramparts, secret passages, towers and dried up moats while I photographed my two princes taking inventory of everything in their adopted kingdom which spanned from the Emerald Coast of Bretagna to the lush green mountains & valleys of Bavaria.

It was so much fun to watch them don their capes, swords, shields and quiver with bow and arrows each morning as we prepared for the day’s excursion. They told me that they needed all of their “gear” and I was more than happy to indulge their play. Who wouldn’t want to be a knight in a real castle? For my part, the boys dubbed me the “Queen” and often called me “Principessa” which I added to my long list of distinguished titles along with, “Bat Girl,” “Cat Woman,” “Poison Ivy,” and “Padme.” It was an honor to held in such high regard.

Throughout our campaign which began in Brittany we battled dragons and dark knights from castle to castle. We discovered long lost celtic ruins devoted to a mighty goddess, scaled steep mountains to reach our castle with the most amazing views of the ocean. We boarded boats to forge up many rivers to reach our most gilded fortresses in the heart of Bavaria, always on alert for a surprise attack as we looked for the sword in the stone. (Which we found!)

Each evening after my little Templar Knights were fed and bathed and all their gear was accounted for and safely stowed away, we would talk about their favorite part of the day. As I listened to them recount their battles, found objects (mostly rocks), favorite gastronomic discoveries and adventures all I could think of were the images that I captured of them living their dreams and couldn’t wait to see share them with the world.

Finally, last night I could not sleep because this image of Finnegan has been haunting me ever since I created it last June and it was time to give it life. This moment happened in the morning right after his bath when he was warm, full from breakfast and happy. The light from the window softly wrapped around his contented smile and his big eyes draw me into his heart. The instant he smiled at me I felt a huge wash of love flow through me and I knew that moment would be the best part of that day. I look forward with great anticipation when this portrait is on display in my home because each glance at it will be the best part of my day, everyday.

Nancy Treder, Seattle childrens photographer

Treder Knights in Brittany

Finn & Elijah in France

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Man about town, Mallahan visits Mennonite homeless housing project

If there was only one thing that I could praise Joe Mallahan for, it would be his irrepressible ability to actually listen to what Seattleites have to say and his genuine ability to praise them for their good deeds. He’s a natural cheerleader for our fair city.

Today, I had the privilege of documenting Joe Mallahan’s visit with representatives from the Seattle Mennonite Church located in North City who are doing remarkable work for the homeless. The tour highlighted the ‘God’s lil’ Acre’ with support services to include daily drop-in hours Monday thru Friday, during which time people can access: laundry facilities, showers and hygiene, community kitchen, internet and phone access, resource referral, food closet, storage, blankets and clothes, morning prayers, gardening, and a safe, secure place to just ‘be’. They may find out where to get much needed medical care from local health clinics or just a chance to rest in a non-threatening environment.

The crown jewel of the Seattle Mennonite Community’s commitment to our most vulnerable citizens is the nearly completed housing facility which will eventually house up to 75 residents. Not only is the facility a green-built edifice, but it will offer efficiency apartments with kitchenettes, a health care clinic, a state-of-the-art food locker and distribution center, educational opportunities for cooking classes and behavior health assistance.

SMC’s tireless efforts to help the homeless in Lake City is impressive, for years they have been quietly building a self-contained interdependent community which has strengthened the ties between permanent residents and the homeless living in North Seattle. As we walked about, our guides knew every homeless person on the streets as we traveled from location to location and each person was treated with respect and dignity without the barrier that homelessness so often puts between neighbors. I look forward to celebrating SMC’s accomplishments at their open house in mid-December.

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Celebrating life’s beginning and end

Today was all about families. I had the privilege of photographing a family celebrating the one year birthday of a precious baby girl and I was also invited into a hospital room of a family saying goodbye to their teenaged son.

The “Ling” family was just back from a vacation and full of stories about their trip to Disneyland. They were joyful with the optimism that youth and health bring those who don’t have to think about life’s inevitable journey. I was taken in by them and the kids as we played and cheered the first steps of a little girl dressed in pink bows and ruffled dress. Smiles and laughter easily bubbled forth during our visit.

Shortly after coming home, I received an emergency request for photos at Children’s Hospital and I took the assignment. I rushed through lunch hour traffic and entered a very tense situation. This photo shoot would be much different from my morning session. Mom’s face was very grim, dad was extremely upset and “Dakota” was trying to make peace. This family knew that their long journey of health challenges was almost over and now they wanted to create some special memories.

Dakota was very aware of what was happening. Earlier that morning he’d asked his mother if he was going to die and she said, “yes.” She told me that she didn’t want to lie to him. I nodded in agreement with her. Despite his grave situation, Dakota was taking action. He was impressive, he knew the truth and he wanted to have some photos for his parents to remember him. Definitely not your average teenager.

As I started taking photos, I girded my heart and let my automatic pilot take over. My mind was considering, camera angles, lighting situations and Dakota’s ability to respond to my requests. He didn’t have to move much, but he didn’t want to wear his oxygen face mask so we worked quickly. As the camera clicked away, I noticed a few smiles flicker across their faces and the mood began to lift. Dad wouldn’t look at the camera and that was okay. He wanted to be real and I appreciated that. I knew that he wanted to deny the fact that his son was dying and despite all the evidence in front of him, he did not want to give up hope for a better outcome.

Dakota’s mom was amazing. She shared his story with me. How he was born with a congenital heart condition and that he’d been in and out of hospitals all of his life. She said that she knew from the time of his diagnosis that he was going to die. And here she was facing her worst fear with grace and acceptance. She told her husband that these photos were important to Dakota and that later he would be thankful for them. It was a heated argument and I had to step back to let them have their say. But as the emotions simmered down I picked up the camera and captured the intimate unsaid things that loved ones share without the spoken word.

Tonight, Doug and I cooked a lemon meringue pie for the kids and we sat at the breakfast nook enjoying the simple pleasure of being together with the most important people in our lives made ever more poignant by the experiences of my day. Witnessing the joys and sorrows of these two families give me the clarity to live a purpose filled life.

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Elijah, mugging for the camera

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2018166&id=1449032866&l=878ee83a96

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