Connie Riggio Seattle Tacoma Photographer » Seattle Tacoma Senior Family and Wedding Photographer

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I love Christmas and each year I look forward to putting up decorations. I have to admit though, that this year I just wasn’t feelin’ it. When I feel that way I know I need a change. Maybe something big, maybe something little. This time I went for something little, changing one of my trees. I know that sounds silly, but it works for me:).

I’ve posted about my tree several times thorough the years. You can find those posts here: 2012 and here’s another: 2011 and another: 2010

I was recently asked how it grew from 1 to 7. Well, when I was little I wanted a tree in my bedroom, so when I got older that’s what I did. Then when I had kids I wanted them to each have one. At first it was a small one, then I upgraded to big ones. Then I wanted different themes and I just started adding trees. You can see in my past posts how I make it easy to decorate by storing everything close to the rooms they are set up in.  It really doesn’t take that long.  I can do it in a day, but this year I spread it out over 3 days to allow myself to get work done too.

Enter our house… and this is what you see… three trees at once:).

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Tree 1 – The Parlor Tree

I’ve always wanted a tree of woodland animals, so when I saw this flocked tree at Artco I knew it was going to be the perfect tree to replace the live one I usually have in this spot. I bought a lot of the ornaments at The Goodwill for only $1 each and I used a table cloth for the tree skirt. I have one thing to add to it and will be making that on my girls craft night! You can see the idea here Ornament.

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One of the oraments looks like Cecchetti (we call him Ketters). He likes trying to chew on this one:).

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Tree 2 – The Livingroom Tree

I usually add to my trees every year. This tree represents our family and this year I added books to represent Amanda starting TCC, a boom box to represent Nick’s love for music and finally, a dog bone for our little pup.

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Tree 3 – The Kitchen Nook Tree

This tree came about when I just wanted another one to decorate! I couldn’t find a spot and then I realized I could fit one here. Since it’s in the kitchen I decided to make it kitchen themed. I added the Gingerbread house, Chef’s hat and cookie sheet this year.

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Tree 4 – The Basement Tree

Since the basement is devoted to music, I made this tree all about music! I added the note ribbon and a microphone this year.

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Tree 5 – My Bedroom Tree

I actually didn’t add anything new to this one this year. I do want to add a decoration to our bedroom door though.  It’s on my todo list!

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Tree 6 – Nick’s Tree

No new additions to Nick’s tree either this year. His tree celebrates his love for Penquins!  I added the WSU ornament last year when he started college!

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Ketters wanted to play while I was taking pictures.

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Tree 7 – Amanda’s Tree

We did get a few new ornaments for Amanda’s, since she was shopping with me and found some she liked.  The majority of her decorations are ballet related mixed with snowflakes and blue and while balls.

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There are 2 things all the trees have in common. The first is that they all have a star as the tree topper and the other is there’s a cross on each tree (some are new this year).  If you are looking for crosses Hobby Lobby has a ton of them!  Almost makes me want a tree in all crosses!

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Well, that’s all 7 of them. I hope you enjoyed the tour:)and an early Merry Christmas to you all!

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  • December 6, 2014 - 1:58 am

    Angela - I LOVE your tree story, Connie, and the beautiful accompanying photos. What a very special tradition! Are 6 out of the 7 live trees???ReplyCancel

    • December 9, 2014 - 7:32 pm

      Connie - Hi Anglea! They are all artificial. It’s the first year not having a live tree. The one in the parlor usually is, but when I saw the white tree in the store I decided it was time to change it. My son says I’m getting lazy, haha.ReplyCancel

  • December 6, 2014 - 1:59 am

    Melissa - I have a new question for you….. :) you mention you store them all in/near their locations……how do you store your ornaments so they don’t break? My tree is acquiring some new handmade ornaments by my kids on top of all my hallmark ornaments and I need a better way to store them so they don’t break. :) ReplyCancel

    • December 9, 2014 - 7:34 pm

      Connie - I answered this on Facebook, but in case anyone else is wondering. I store them in bins and wrap the glass ornaments in tissue or a special box. The bins are completely full, so no room for movement and if there is I add tissue to make sure they are secure. I have never broken one in a bin and I have some pretty fragile ornaments. If you have really special ornaments I would put them in a box with tissue, then into the bin for extra protection.ReplyCancel

  • December 6, 2014 - 3:31 am

    Pue - They are AMAZING! And inspiring!ReplyCancel

  • December 6, 2014 - 3:41 pm

    Rikki - Your trees are so beautiful. I love your holidays spirit too! I would love to watch how you put them all together ;) .ReplyCancel

    • December 9, 2014 - 7:36 pm

      Connie - Thanks Rikki. I time lapse video would be fun :) . 2 of the trees are pretty labor intensive just to set up since they are old and require each branch to be snapped in separately. They others go up quick. Putting the ornaments on would be pretty boring for people, but a condensed version would be fun :) .ReplyCancel

Janell and Joe were married at the High Cedars Golf Club in Orting on Saturday amoung all the beautiful fall colors. This is my favorite time of year, so I loved all the colors of the day! This was a special wedding to me, since it was my friend, Carolyn’s son’s wedding. We worked together at REI and the only time I get to see my old friends these days is if they hire me:).

Janell got ready had home with her mom and girlfriends.

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She bought comfy robes for her bridesmaids.

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We used the beautiful fall colors in Janell’s front yard to capture some of the special details.  It was just about to rain in this image, but I’m so glad it soon completely turned around and it ended up being a great weather day!

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Janell’s mom had the honor of lacing her daughter up:).

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Ready to go meet her man!

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Joe was about 20 minutes away at Janell’s dad’s house getting ready with his buds.

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Then they made their way to the venue, waitin’ on a woman.

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And having a good laugh.

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The first look.

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Such a great couple!

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Janell really wanted this shot! Joe is a big fisherman and this was a perfect representation of that:). I think if there was actually fish in that pond, this would’ve been the real thing!

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I love this real moment.

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Such pretty colors!

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This was a great group of girls to hang out with.

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The guys.

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The whole gang.

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A special moment for dad and daughter.

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The moment we have all been waiting for…

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Mr. and Mrs!

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Family! Ava, their little girl is a complete doll!!

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The first dance.

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What a great night full of love and laughter.

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And dancing!

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Thanks for includng us in your special day. Congratulations to you!!

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Renita and Dion traveled from the East Coast to get married at the beautiful Newcastle Golf Club and be close to Renita’s family. I imagine it was pretty hard planning a wedding from afar and we never met until the day of the wedding. Sometimes that can be a little intimidating, walking into an unknown situation, never meeting whom you will be spending the day with and in sometimes intimate situations. Well, this family was incredibly inviting. They treated us like we were one of their very own from the minute we walked in. I can’t tell you what a great feeling that was and how wonderful it made the time we spent with them.

Renita prepared for the day next to her friends, sister, grandma, mom and aunties. That room was crowded, but full of fun too.

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Time to say “I Do!”

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How beautiful is this view and this couple! I’ve never had a bride with such a long veil. Just stunning!

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We had very limited time to do formal pictures, but we managed to squeeze it all in and I loved what we were able to capture:). Like this image of Renita’s family. What a great family picture to treasure!

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And Renita with all her girlfriends!

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Dion with his buds!

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Now time to party!

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A little dinner…

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Some dancing…

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What a beautiful night and I loved how it was a great background for the cake.

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Yep, this happened!

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What a lovely day with these wonderful people! Renita’s grandma came from New Orlean’s and had all her children there. What a beautiful group of people!

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Thanks for a great memory!

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Olivia is my first Vashon High School senior. I’ve done shoots on Vashon before, but never a Vashon senior. I loved my expereince – took the ferry over on a beautiful day then drove to her house with lots of great property to use. I just love the country! The smell, the ruggedness, the winding roads, the little towns, just everything!

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She does theater, teaches swimming and enjoys being a cheerleader for her school.
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She hasn’t picked her college yet, but wants to study theater and either speech or occupational therapy.
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We found lots of interesting places around her house to use as backdrops.
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My first perspective for this pose.
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Then I just moved a little and got this perspective… totally different.
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Liv, as her friends call her, looked beautiful.
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Quite often when I do a senior shoot we also squeeze in a family picture. My favorite place to capture a family is on their front porch. It represents them well and I love the look of a porch:). What makes a family image even better – the family pets!
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Since Liv loves the water, we headed to one of the two public beaches Vashon has.
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I tried to get a good variety for Olivia. We didn’t just use different locations and outfits, we also played with light and did some in the complete sunshine, some in shade and some with backlight. I love all the looks you can get by just playing with light.
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Thanks for having my capture this fun time in your life. I hope you have a great senior year Olivia!
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Amber is a St. Paul’s School senior. St. Paul’s is in Concord, NH, but Amber lives locally.

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Girl Senior St. Paul

I first met Amber’s family years ago when she took ballet with my daughter at TCB. I have sense done senior pictures for her sister and family pictures for them all.
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I know the weather will eventually change, but for now I refuse to talk about it. I am going to enjoy every last minute of this sunshine!
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Girl Senior St. Paul

Amber has grown up into such a beautiful young girl!
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Girl Senior St. Paul

The classic pose.
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This is one of my favorite downtown streets. I just love all the textures and looks I can get in this one stretch.
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Girl Senior St. Paul

Girl Senior St. Paul

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Thanks for trusting me as your family’s photographer. I am honored!
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Girl Senior St. Paul

Girl Senior St. Paul

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Stephanie and Bret were married at the Rock Creek Gardens on Aug. 29. Another goregous August wedding.

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Stephanie was feeling a little under the weather and her voice was suffering, but that didn’t stop her from having LOTS of fun on her special day!
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Bret was getting ready just right downstairs.
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I love pink and these girls wore it well!
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The guys, ready to do this thing!
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Stephanie and her little bride! Isn’t Berkeley just adorable on her mamma’s wedding day, but if you noticed the ring shot, there’s a ring for her too from her Daddy. Very sweet.
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Stephanie walked with her Dad and Grandpa. Two very special men in her life.
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The ceremony was beautiful and heartfelt and I may have choked up.
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Such a great group!
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Stephanie is just so gorgeous and full of life and laughter. Bret handsome and loving and caring to his girls.
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You two are gorgeous together!
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Time for the bustling of the dress and getting ready to make the grand entrance into the reception as Mr. and Mrs!
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Such beautiful details.
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And here they are!
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The first dance.
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Now these guys know how to dance!  Choreographed dance routine!  What else would you expect since Stephanie is an ice skating teacher!  She changed into an adorable dress to dance the night away in!
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I had to get a shot of Stephanie and all her ice skating students!
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Then I found them all at the s’mores table later on! Oh yeah!
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Such a great wedding. We are so fortunate to have really wonderful wedding clients.  Congrats Stephanie, Bret and Berkeley!
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Venue: Rock Creek Gardens
Wedding Coordinator/Decor: Kerra Lynch at Umbrella Events LLC

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