Heading North in November with Giana & Paisley

It's almost Thanksgiving already? Wait, how did that happen? Time has been going so fast, but I suppose that is the nature of things when you maintain a busy schedule. Thankfully I had the opportunity to shoot some more personal work this week with Giana and Paisely. I'm gonna start things off a bit differently this time, with a short video I put together of our day in the North Cascades.

I only half ass shot a few short clips so it's a bit repetitive, but I'm hoping to start doing more video work so be on the lookout for that and let me know what you guys think! I always appreciate feedback of any kind.

This waterfall is a pretty special one to me. I found it randomly exploring right after purchasing my first camera way back in the day and one of the first real outdoor adventures I went on. It's kind of sentimental to me for that reason and not many people know about it also. I've been wanting to shoot portraits here for a long time and I'm glad I was able to check that off the list.

Giana and Paisley have been friends of mine for quite a while. Paisley I've actually known since birth, so we've shot together before. Giana I've wanted to work with for a period of time and she recently began modeling as well so it worked out great. Paisley is a fantastic fashion blogger and model. She's been absolutely killin it lately so make sure to check her out here.


We had a nice mixture of the "more serious modeling" look and "playful lifestyle" shots. Since Paisley and Giana are longtime friends, their interactions were fully authentic and easy to capture on camera.

Not much beats a solid day of exploring with cool people.

I think we shot 3 total looks for each of the girls and I was stoked with how the styling came out. Working with fashion bloggers is rad.

Since we shot both individual portraits and the girls together, and since they were both doing so good, I ended up with over 100 edits from the day.

The North Cascades highway is arguably (or not even arguably, it is) one of the best drives in Washington. I've lost track of how many times I've been here over the years. 

I've wanted to shoot models at Diablo Lake, and the North Cascades in general, for a long time now. Definitely worth the wait seeing as I got to shoot with not only one, but two awesome people.

Posting a lot for this blog but...I'm really stoked on all these...so keep scrolling. 

Color>B&W.....or....B&W>color....I don't know. I like both.

I had actually came up to the North Cascades about a month before this. There was some snow already, but this time the snow level had dropped a ton, which meant much more snow at the top.

Originally, I had hoped to make it all the way to Washington Pass to take photos. But we ended up leaving close to 3 hours behind our initial schedule and then detoured to the waterfall first. We were driving fast to try and make it there with enough light to shoot but then as I saw the temperatures dropping close to freezing, I thought it would be a bad idea to go blasting down the highway when there could be ice. And in all honesty, we wouldn't have made it there in time with enough light anyway.

Since Paisley is a fashion blogger, we shot a few photos for that as well. I'm not gonna share many of those though. Wait for Paisley's post!

Make sure to check out Paisley's content!

Website: http://paisleynoelle.com/                                                                                    Instagram: @paisley_noelle Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKplmjSFpwSi0gQ9zQw2SAQ

Follow Giana as well!

Instagram: @gianaamoretti

As always, thank you to the models and friends for this awesome day. And thank you to the readers who made it through this lengthy post. Get outside, take photos, and do awesome stuff. I know I will! - WM

Autumn Mountains With Sydney

Fall definitely has to be my favorite season of the year. The deciduous trees litter the landscape of surrounding evergreens and mountains with impressive yellow, orange, and red color palettes of the changing leaves. The air becomes cooler and crisper. The fog and mist returns. The overall atmosphere creates a mood that can be enjoyed both indoors and outdoors. So I knew I wanted to get out and take photos as much as possible.

Sydney Starkk Blog 1.jpg

I recently discovered Sydney on Instagram through a mutual photographer friend of ours. Right away I knew she was someone I wanted to work with. Both her fashion and modeling styles seemed to be quite analogous with what I've enjoyed shooting lately. After reaching out and learning she was interested, we set our plans and were able to make this shoot happen soon after.

We headed up to Artist Point in the North Cascades mountains. Tucked between Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker with 10/10 views in every direction, it's one of my favorite places in Washington. I've been wanting to shoot with a model here for quite some time so I'm really happy it was finally able to happen.

Sydney Starkk Blog 3.jpg

The weather forecast called for overcast conditions during the morning we had planned. This is what I was hoping for. I was actually almost concerned that it would be too overcast, blocking the views or we might get rained out. As you can see in the images, this was totally not the case. We had little to no cloud cover and the harsh lighting conditions proved to be a challenge early on. I've encountered this so many times by now though it doesn't worry me. Even if it's not ideal conditions, I'm confident in my capability to roll with the punches and find ways to get it done.

If you live in Washington, I highly encourage you to take a trip to Artist Point. There's great elevation changes, twists and turns galore, massive open spaces, and stellar surrounding mountain views that will make you feel like you're straight out of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth.

The mountains ended up being more blown out than I had hoped due to the harsh light. I'm honestly still really happy with this set of images though and can always go back again in the future. Which I'm sure I will, because this place has so much potential. 

After we finished at the summit, we switched to look number two and started descending down the mountain to shoot in some shaded areas. I gave Sydney some general outfit ideas I was interested in and was beyond stoked with what she came up with. 

As it turns out, Sydney and I went to the same school for a while. So we got to spend time reminiscing about the past and figuring out the other mutual people we knew which was fun.

Even with the less than ideal lighting conditions, the views were insanely cool.

During the driving time when we weren't talking, we jammed out to some throwbacks.

Sydney Starkk Blog 21.jpg

I'm usually so simplistic in my editing process that I hardly do any adjustments. But for this I tried desaturating some of the yellows and greens to mellow out the background from being too overpowering in the bright light.

Although most of the epic background was lost because of the lighting, sometimes you can have fun with it so I still enjoyed this spot.

On our way back down the mountain highway I spotted a gravel road offshoot. If you have the time and gas to spare, it's a no brainer to me. You always take the gravel road and see where it leads. This one ended up taking us to an epic lookout spot where I definitely will be coming back to camp. 

Sydney Starkk Blog 26.jpg

Sydney and I also got to have some really good talks on topics like business, modeling/photography industry, Instagram community, relationships, life in general, etc. I love meeting and connecting with new people and that's just as much fun as the photo shoot itself to me. 10/10 conversation quality. 

Sydney Starkk Blog 27.jpg

I don't think I'll ever grow tired of shooting beautiful girls with hats like these either.

After descending from the mountain peaks, we stopped along the mountain highway to shoot with the golden fall leaves. These only last a few weeks usually and I'm glad I was able to get some good portraits this year. 

After shooting a more serious look throughout the day, we decided to wrap it up with some light hearted playful shots. 

And of course to end the day, nothing sounded better than burgers and milk shakes. So we headed into Bellingham and had our post-shoot lunch. Thanks Sydney for another great shoot to add to the books. Make sure to follower her @sydneystarkk because, spoiler alert*, she's gonna be up to some cool things soon. Pumped on all the images we ended up with and I hope to be back again with another set to share before too long. See you guys soon - WM