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  • Writer's pictureTina Witherspoon

Lifestyle Shoot: Seattle Waterfront with Sequoia

The Seattle Waterfront got a serious upgrade in 2012 when the Seattle Great Wheel arrived at Pier 57. I immediately knew that I wanted to photograph a summer day on the boardwalk, and in 2018 I finally got the chance! Sequoia and I walked up and down the boardwalk looking for angles that would capture the wheel but at the same time, focus on her and the Boho Republic dress she was modeling. This particular garment is actually a one-of-a-kind abstract linen print Madison dress from my personal collection.

It was an amazing day to shoot despite the strong sun and heat, and it was truly the perfect day to blend portrait, fashion and lifestyle photography. Even in the daylight, the neon signs on the boardwalk make for great backgrounds.

I managed to capture the beautiful sunlight streaming through the droplets in the waterfall, creating sparkling bokeh. For this shoot I used my Nikon D610, a 50 mm prime lens and shot most of the images at the widest aperture, 1.8. Normally I have to be very careful with an aperture that wide since I'm not so steady handheld, but because of the sun I was also shooting at 1/800 of a second, so I got a lot of images that were really crisp.

Even though there were tons of people out that day, I found opportunities to isolate her from the crowds and blur the backgrounds to focus on her as the subject. Tourists also tend to wear really distracting brightly colored tee shirts, but I worked around them as best I could. Doesn't everyone know that on any given day, they might find themselves in the background of some photographer's project?

There were even neon lights indoors — this last shot was taken inside the lobby of the famous waterfront location of Ivars. The light by the entry doors was really great and the neon helped to fill in the shadows. Looking at this series again I might have to go back this summer!

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