Featured Engagement: Sara & Johnnie

I’m reaching into the archives today to share an engagement session that was very special to me. Meet my sweet sister, Sara, and her husband, Johnnie

If you’ve ever seen a burlesque show in Seattle, Sara might look familiar to you. She’s spent the last 15 years performing as Inga in burlesque shows around the world, and she’s a member of Seattle’s famous burlesque troupe The Atomic Bombshells. Fun fact: Many years ago, I was HER dance teacher. She could teach me a thing or two now. 

Sara is ALSO a bridal consultant at the coolest vintage store in Seattle, Pretty Parlor on Capitol Hill. So if you’re looking for amazing, one-of-a-kind vintage (or vintage-inspired) wedding or bridesmaid dresses, shoes, veils, accessories and more, she’ll hook you up. Sara and Johnnie are also parents to the cutest puppy in the entire world. What I’m saying is that these two are AWESOME and I’m proud of both of them. 

Back to the photos: Four years ago this spring, Sara and Johnnie and I spent an afternoon wandering around the Seattle waterfront, Pike Place Market and Volunteer Park shooting some fun, romantic and sexy engagement photos. By the way, in case you’re wondering: Yes, it IS weird asking couples to basically make out while I take their picture. It’s even weirder when it’s your sister. 

OK but get your hands off my baby sister.

Sara and Johnnie live a very urban lifestyle, getting from their home on Capitol Hill to work and shows around Seattle by bus, foot and ridesharing. So we decided that classic downtown Seattle, waterfront and Pike Place Market backgrounds would be perfect for their engagement shoot. Sara wore two dresses designed by her friend, Seattle clothing designer J. Von Stratton, and shoes and accessories from her personal wardrobe. Johnnie’s slim black suit and soft bow tie coordinated perfectly. They were also wise to dress in slim, long lines and darker colors in order to make themselves look taller. They don’t look tiny in these photos, but they are – they’re both around 5′ tall. Another fun fact: Our mom is 4’8″. At 5’2″, I got all the height in the family. 

Look at all the bows! 

These two are really, really great at posing. Between them, they have tons of experience both in front of and behind the camera, and that really makes a difference in their images. They both instinctively know that the best poses are fluid, not stiff, and that it’s OK to keep moving and shifting your body while I’m shooting. It makes every pose look more natural, and you end up with a lot of very different images from just a few minutes of shooting. 

Sara brought a great accessory for our photo shoot, a fancy, fringed black parasol. It was exactly what we needed to elevate the photos beyond ordinary and frame their faces, in addition to providing shade on a relentlessly sunny day. 



I kind of accidentally got a photo that I loved so much, I put it in my logo. See? 

After wandering around on the waterfront for a while, they made a quick wardrobe change and we headed to Volunteer Park for a series of more casual, relaxed poses surrounded by lush greenery. It’s been fun revisiting these photos today! I should probably call my sister more often.