Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Plates Clicking Against The Table

This year Frank and I were invited to spend Thanksgiving at the house of our good friends Jaxie and Bob, together with their daughters Isabel and Eve and invited friends. We had a wonderful meal and a peaceful and playful time together.

Eve is 7 years old . She made this poem for Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving 2007 Poem

Quite amazing, these observations and thoughts of a seven year old girl. It keeps me speechless.

. . . . . . . .

Thanksgiving was also Eve's birthday.

Part of my birthday present for her this year was a big piece of silky red fabric. It's one of the last pieces of my big collection of fabric dreams I acquired in Germany. Most of it I left behind when I moved to the America ten years ago.

I thought it might be of use in all kinds of ways for a girl like Eve, and I am glad to see it becoming and giving wings...

Thanksgiving 2007 b

Thanksgiving 2007 c

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  • Tuesday, November 27, 2007

    Cover Shot: Luly Yang

    Luly Yang for Seattle Woman Magazine

    Luly is Seattle's top designer for bridal and evening gowns and just won the Nellie Cashmann Award as the Business Owner of the Year. She has an exquisite store full of sparkle on 4th and University Street.

    I was very much looking forward to this photo shoot, though, like all of them, this one had its challenges. There was no time to meet Luly beforehand or to check out the location. Also, I unfortunately missed her amazing fashion show a week before the shoot, because I was still in Germany.

    Karen, the editor of Seattle woman, was there with me and started with the interview. It's a different thing, the atmosphere of an interview and the atmosphere of a shoot. The first one is words and so an act of expression. What I do is something else: a feeling or mood at least is allowed to enter and, with patience, a fundamental quality of the person or situation comes to light.

    For me it's important that the person to be photographed is fully present and part of the photographic dialog. That, of course, includes myself. I had probably still a little bit of jet lag and realized that I did not fully arrive yet in my surroundings. There is this interesting mixture in a photo portrait session, the need to be active and push things forward, to be in control. At the same time, you need to be receptive and open, aware so you see what is falling in your lap. Suddenly something hits you, a certain constellation of body posture in relation to the surroundings, a certain something in the eyes, a fleeting moment... Letting go is required, on the side of the person to be photographed as well as on the side of the photographer, if the real beauty is to come out.

    Luly is a charming and graceful woman. What impressed me strongly is how she combines a child-like playful enthusiasm and joy about colors and shapes along with a strong business sense. In the shoot, I wanted to get through this business consciousness and was waiting for something that really spoke to me and exited me, and woke me up.

    Luly Yang. luly_yang_inside_blog

    We got there, I feel. Luly was patient and went through the choreography of the shoot with me without complaint. Suddenly, after hard work, it was there. A certain mystery, an expression that you cannot pin down, knowing eyes, strength and softness at the same time, a Mona Lisa gaze that draws you in.

    Thank you, Luly, for staying with me in this.

    In the end we gave each other a hug, and I had finally "arrived" back in Seattle.

    . . . . . . . . . . . .

    A few more that were not in the magazine that show the different sides of Luly:


    A shot in between shots of an exuberant young woman...


    ...and the queen who reigns over her empire.

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  • Wednesday, November 14, 2007



    This is Friederike, the daughter of my very dear friend Barbara T. in Hamburg, Germany. I visited them when I was in Germany some weeks ago. There was only time to spend together for one evening.

    I love this picture. It might be not perfect, technically. I photographed her just after I arrived. She was standing there, in the door, watching me in her quiet way. It was a little dark.

    I love her eyes. There is a certain poetic quality around this girl. She has her inner world that she has to protect a little and keep it for herself or to share it only with a view friends.

    I sent this picture to Barbara, her mother. She called me back the next day and told me that she was very touched. She felt relieved because she saw in it a quality she felt might not be there anymore or that she would not see anymore, something in her daughter that tends to get invisible in the day-to-day routine.

    It was beautiful to hear Barbara describe what she saw in the photo, and once again I am amazed what a photograph can do.

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  • Tuesday, October 9, 2007

    Pepper Schwartz at WBE

    You have the chance to see and hear Pepper Schwartz, who I recently photographed, talking about her book Prime. She will be at the Women's Business Exchange Breakfast on this coming Thursday morning, that is, October 11th, 2007.

    The Women's Business Exchange is one of Seattle's largest networking organizations. Each month on the 2nd Thursday they have the breakfast meeting from 7 to 9am at the Washington Athletic Club downtown.

    I still remember the first time I went to a breakfast around 4 years ago. I was impressed by seeing ca. 150 business women buzzing around. The air was full of sparkle and energy. Everything seemed possible.

    . . . . . . . . . .

    Here again is the picture of Pepper Schwartz for the cover, this time without the text:

    I love the light on the wall. It was not easy to find the right spot to take the photos in and around her house. We looked at everything, Pepper's horse stable, the beautiful garden and rooms in the house. In spite of being beautiful, it all did not seem to be the right spot. So many things have to come together: the light, the colors, not distracting from the person, working for the cover and the text position, and in the end, it has to give the person the right "frame" and make them feel comfortable. All of this will affect the position of the body and the expressions.

    I finally decided for this small spot in the kitchen. The warm yellow color and the streams of light seemed to be the right background for Pepper. I felt it connected with her ability to enjoy the moment, being exuberant and glowing from inside.

    The dog who peeks in on the bottom of the picture contributed to the fun as well. Meanwhile her other big dog was lying on the opposite side under my tripod and between my feet. They wanted to take part too.

    By the way, the cherries in the other picture were just there, we were eating them. They tasted so good. No bigger meaning, I just liked the little splash of red color...

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  • Thursday, October 4, 2007

    Cover Shot: Pepper Schwartz

    I was away for a while, in Germany. Some good photos came from this trip, and I will put them up later. Meanwhile, I did these photos of Dr. Pepper Schwartz for an article in Seattle Woman Magazine:

    Pepper Schwartz Cover

    They did an especially great job on the layout this time. The one below was used for the article inside:

    Pepper Schwartz

    Seattle Woman is a print magazine, but you can also download the latest issue here.

    I did them at her ranch, about an hour's drive from Seattle. A beautiful place inside and out. Pepper raises horses there, but is more widely known as a sociology professor at the University of Washington and now as the author of Prime.

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  • Thursday, August 30, 2007

    Cover Shot: Laura Love

    Cover I did for September 2007 Seattle Woman Magazine. Laura is a wonderfully unique singer and musician.

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  • Monday, August 6, 2007

    Cover Shot: Ashley Lodree

    Ashley Lodree Seattle Woman Magazine cover

    This is Ashley Lodree, an amazing athlete. I photographed her for the cover of Seattle Woman Magazine in July. Not sure why the faint lines are there; they appeared when I downloaded the online version. I wanted to show the cover as it was laid out. This July edition is no longer available, but the latest one can be downloaded and is usually displayed in the upper left corner at Seattle Woman Magazine's site . I did the cover for the August issue as well.
    [ETA: at least for now, the July issue can still be downloaded directly from this link . <-Fixed this link and some other things on 8/30/07]
    I have to say that I am not really a sports photographer, and I don't know a lot about sports or the well known outstanding sports VIPs, but there was something special about her that touched me very much. When I worked on the photo I did of her in post production on the computer, where she is on the starting track looking into the camera with her hands on the ground, I could not stop looking. I think it was the combination of the softness in her eyes and the strength that showed in her arms that moved me so much. I think for the first time, consciously, I saw the commitment to reach a goal in her body. I had a glimpse at it, what it can mean for somebody to make a decision and then to follow up on it and not to give up.

    You can see her beautiful soft eyes also in the close up:

    Ashley Lodree close up

    This shot, made just a moment after starting, shows what a good athlete she is:

    Ashley Lodree Running

    In the moment where she collects all her strength to push forward and get out of the blocks, it looks nearly as if she is flying forward without investing her own energy: yet her face is totally relaxed, nearly as if she is surrendering to another force which would carry her.

    [ETA: Some of the photos here are not always showing up, perhaps from being viewed too many times on Flickr. Will see what we can do to resolve this. 8/30/07]

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  • Friday, July 6, 2007



    A while ago I had the pleasure to do a photo shoot with Eleanor for her new and first CD. (I did not see it yet. It will be available this evening)

    It's her jump into presenting herself to the world as a singer on her own, after years of being in the corporate world "working for the man".

    She has a beautiful voice and I love her writing for her songs. I admire to be able to create poetry out of your life.

    Much luck and love to you Eleanor!

    The release party is today, Friday evening, at Victor's Coffee Company in Redmond:

    July, 6 2007 at Victor's (CD release party!)
    7993 Gilman St., Redmond, Washington 98052
    Cost : free


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  • Friday, June 15, 2007

    Two More of this Beautiful Child

    Two more from the same session as yesterday's post.

    Photo of a child 0589

    Photo of a child 0142

    Yes, those are finger puppets! I usually use them off-camera, as they can help the child relax.

    My downtown studio has huge windows, one reason I chose it. As they are here and in the ones I put up yesterday, whenever possible, I use natural light. I love the look and enjoy working in the environment. I also believe it is easier on client, however old they are. The professional models I work with are comfortable with bright lights and flashes, but most people seem to find it easier to relax and be natural without them.

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  • Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Baby Session

    Photographed two little girls recently. Did this first one at my studio in downtown Seattle. It's wonderful to see this little girl being surrounded by love and always amazing to me how much fun and enthusiasm and concentration these little human beings can have.

    baby 1

    baby 2

    baby 3

    baby 4

    baby 5

    More later.

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  • Saturday, May 19, 2007

    Cover Shot: Organic Farm in Indianola, WA

    So much happened since the last entry. I hope to catch up.

    Here is the new and current cover I did for Seattle Woman:

    May Cover, Seattle Woman Magazine, organic farm in Indianola, WA
    Rebecca Slattery, with farm apprentice, Sonya Servine and the chickens.

    Done at Persephone Farm, Indianola, WA.

    It was very interesting to see the farm owners and their apprentices working with their hands. I realized that in my mind I picture farm work with big machines. It's comforting to see that the appreciation of hands on work, the direct contact with the earth still exists. It will effect the quality of the food we eat, that's the belief of Rebecca and her business partner who own and run this beautiful place.

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  • Tuesday, April 24, 2007

    Dancer, During Filming at Dry Falls, Eastern Washington

    Dancer, Dry Falls, Eastern Washington

    I was running the video camera for my friend Diana who is making a film of her dance students for UW. Also did some photos of the dancers and the surrounding area.

    They were first rolling around in the dust of this desert area, so that is why the clothes look a bit distressed. I will post more of these. They were all done in Dry Falls, Eastern Washington.

    Note: Yes, that is the original background. We used a trampoline!

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  • Wednesday, April 18, 2007

    Kissenschlacht (Pillow Fight)

    Last week I went to the Northwest Film Forum's Wiggly World, a production facility for film people in Seattle, to use a 16mm editing table. I needed to look at a copy print of a 16mm movie I made 21 years ago. It was a little bit exiting. I did not use an editing table for nine years or since I live in America. In the 80s, I was very interested in experimental movies and created several myself which were shown at German and international Festivals.

    This is a long time ago, and I gave up on film making for several reasons, so it was a surprise when I received a letter from Annette Brauerhoch from the University of Paderborn. She is a professor for film science and is putting together an archive and collection of experimental short movies by women filmmakers in Germany and wanted to include my movie in the selection. She saw one of my films - Kissenschlacht - 20 years ago on a festival and has it still in strong memory. I was surprised and touched and honored.

    Interesting to look at the movie again: to see if the ideas I had twenty years ago are still of value or maybe just ridiculous. At that time, I was intrigued by newspaper pictures of politicians. I worked on that for my study at the University and analyzed body postures and structures of these photos. This went into a little 16 minute long movie . I "animated" these pictures and combined them with pictures I filmed of my sleeping boyfriend all aiming for one continuous movement. I was happy with the way it came out, although some may find it boring to look at a sleeping man and not much is happening.

    At that time the movie was quite well perceived. It was accepted on festivals and often written about it:
    "A masterpiece of the experimental storytelling . . . Ingrid Pape confirms with this calm and wordless study the 'sovereign' preciseness and musicality of her filmmaking."

    - German film kritic Michael Koetz writing in the Frankfurter Rundschau, 1986.
    While that was nice to read, the question is: Do I still understand and stand by what I did 21 years ago?

    What I realize now is that very likely my intense studying of these pictures gave me a good base for my photography. My understanding of body postures in photographs, film and life goes into my work now.

    The other thing that's satisfying to know is that the film will light up on a big screen again, projected from a celluloid film, will be shown to students and film scientists and not just sit in a dark box. It is still alive and not just a "sin of youth".

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  • Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    Cover Shot: Lynne Barker and Lucia Athens

    Here is the new Seattle Woman Magazine cover for April.

    This photo shoot felt like a little adventure. Lynne Barker and Lucia Athens are both from the Green Building Program of the Seattle Department of Planning and Development. I did not have a chance to meet them before. When I waited for them at the City Hall, two woman walked towards me, looking at me. Then one said, "Are you Ingrid" and I realized these were Lucia and Lynne. Somehow I expected some 'outdoor' types. We laughed and Lynn said "Did we not fit your stereotype?" A little bit true.

    We decided City Hall did not really work for the shoot and Lynne suggested the Municipal Court building on the other side of the street. It had a beautiful green opaque wall installation with water in front of it. This gave me a boost of energy.

    I loved the green wall with Lucia and Lynne outfits. The black was great and the silver geometrical jewelry corresponded to the metal elements in the wall design. But it was hard to get it all to work. The sun was extreme, there was wind which blew over my reflector stand, the time was limited - this was Lucia and Lynne's lunch break - no assistant to hold the reflector, and the space with the pool in front did not seem to have "easy" spots for them to be. But in the end it all worked out: Lucia and Lynn were up to everything and had a lot of fun, a young man who worked in the building helped hold the reflector, we found the 'perfect' spot to stand, and the clouds showed just in the right moment, to cover the merciless early afternoon sun.

    This is what I love about the shoots: in the beginning you have all these elements they are disparate and problematic and then, after just jumping in with trust and the willingness to bear it, all falls into place.

    . . . . . . .

    You can also download the whole April issue here, but only for a while. It’s available in print form at many locations around Seattle, of course, and many of the their past articles are available for reading in text form from their site as well.

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  • Monday, April 2, 2007


    Last Monday, I walked to a music performance around 7.15pm on NW 65th street. I love the "Blue Hour", when the sky is darkening but still blue, and the warm yellow lights on the streets and in the windows lighten up. At the Ballard High School, there were some trees in a line full in bloom. It was already quite dark but the blossoms glowed by themselves. The affluence of the blossoms was kind of overwhelming. Walking under them feels like being in a fairy tale. Beauty freely given.

    I stopped and took out my camera, in a shy try to "recreate" ("capturing" would be futile here) something that might come close to my perception.




    Then I went to the performance of Tuning The Air, which is happening each Monday for several month again. It was beautiful. Jaxie (one of the guitar players) asked me after the performance how it was. I tried to put it into words. "It was strong", was one of the things I said. Walking back through the dark street and the cold air, my words were continuing to do their own thing in my head and developing further what I wanted to express about the music. "It was strong in being gentle and gentle in being strong" came to my mind.

    The next morning in waking up the blossoms and the trees appeared in my head and they connected with the music of last night and it hit me. They kind of belonged together, there was something very similar about both of them: being subtle and gentle in the detail and powerful at the same time.

    So hard to do, but sometimes it's there, just like a gift.

    Spring is Here...

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  • Monday, March 26, 2007

    Northwest Women's Show

    Last Saturday I went to the Northwest Women's Show at Safeco Field to visit Marianne Scholl the publisher of Seattle Woman Magazine at their booth. She made this photo of me helping a little by giving out magazines. A lot of women came in who knew already our publication and were often enthusiastic about it.

    It's a wonderful magazine, full of articles about amazing women. I love to contribute to it with my photography.

    And, off course, it's also satisfying to see many of the covers I did all in one place.

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  • Thursday, March 22, 2007

    Diana Garcia-Snyder

    Diana Garcia-Snyder, dancer

    Diana is a dancer. I was spending some time with her one day to work out how I would do the filming for a movie she is creating with her dance company. I had my Nikon, as always, and took a few reference shots of the dance studio to get the feel of the place and test the lighting. She was standing in a spotlight here, and I like the drama of the moment, the sense of presence.

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  • Friday, March 16, 2007

    Peacock Presenting

    Peacock, Indianola

    This peacock was wandering around a farm I visited yesterday. I was there to do the photos for a story on local organic farming in Seattle Woman Magazine. Will be out in May.

    Something about the standing stone in the background gives it an archaic and symbolic feeling.

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  • Friday, March 9, 2007

    Seattle Woman Magazine Cover Shot: At the Spa

    Here is my latest Seattle Woman cover. It's out now:

    Seattle Woman Magazine, Ingrid Pape-Sheldon, Photographer

    Always a little (positive) shock for me to discover the new issue, when it has my cover on it. It's exiting to see how the picture turned out in printing, after I looked at it for such a long time on my computer and worked to bringing out the best in it.

    I think it came out really beautiful. A little lighter than expected, but that adds to the atmosphere of being in the spa, as if a little mist. And her skin looks radiant and glowing.

    We did the photo shoot at Olympus Spa in Lynnwood on a Sunday, when the spa is closed to the public. Having the whole place by ourselves was such a luxury. (Thanks you again, Sun!) I wish I could have jumped just into the water.

    When I went some days before the shoot, just to check out the location, I was very touched, walking through and seeing all the woman. There was something beautiful about seeing all the women, having space for themselves, being "good” to themselves. Nearly like a secret society.

    Of course, the place is not a secret. A good friend of mine, Patty, is a big fan of this spa. Recently I met her and I commented on her beautiful face and relaxed expression. She smiled at me and said, like a little secret she would share "I spend a day at the Olympus Spa." I definitely have to go there just for myself, maybe with a girl friend.

    The shoot went smooth. Erin Skipley, the make up artist, did a great job with what needed to be a natural make up look. It's just very nice to work with her and she does everything to bring out the features in the best way.

    Michelle Marshal from the Seattle Model Guild was our model. It was great to work with her, and it's not just about the beautiful face. We all know that, I think, but it so much easier when there is a dialog and a cooperation and the model brings in variations of moods and expressions, gestures and postures. When we looked at many pictures and model cards, we decided for her, because of her warm eyes and connecting smile. It really came out in the photos.

    . . . . . . .

    You can also download the whole March issue here, but only for a while. It’s available in print form at many locations around Seattle, of course.

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  • Tuesday, February 20, 2007

    Smith Tower

    ETA: 2/22/07: By coincidence, Smith Tower on the front page the day after I made this post: Seattle Times writes that it may be turned into condominiums.
    . . . . . . .

    I was speaking about the Smith Tower in my last post. This is the view out of my studio window.

    Smith Tower

    Once, I covered an event on the very top floor, in the tall pyramid-shaped part. That was fun.

    When the building was opened in 1914, it was the forth tallest in the world. One hundred and fifty-nine meters. It's only been washed once I read as, for some reason, it stays exceptionally clean by itself. There is a room on the 35th floor called The Chinese Room. The furniture and many of the fittings and carvings were gifts from the Empress of China. You can take a Virtual Reality tour here.

    . . . . .

    I did this photo some month's ago. The light was very special. Warm afternoon light with a certain glow, at the same time dark clouds and some blue sky. There was some magic in the air, a kind of a stronger presence of things, as if the objects reach out to you, not just being there in the gray, passively waiting for us to see them.

    The blue little globe or ball on top of the tower was lighting up. I never registered that before. Probably catching the light from the sun.

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  • Friday, February 16, 2007

    Studio Upgrade and Shawna Locey

    Spend several hours yesterday together with my husband Frank doing some improvements on my studio. My husband is the technical talent, and it is very satisfying to work together with him on that. We got a lot done. Now the couch can move, with wheels. It feel as if it can fly.

    The studio is in the 619 Western building downtown, full of artists. It's a great space, but is what you could call 'shabby chic.' Great windows with the view on the Smith tower. The big studio room actually reminds me of my Berlin apartment where I lived for some years.

    The building is very old, has it's own charm. The Studio is developing. I enjoyed working on it so much, I wanted to look at it again and again.

    Shawna Locey

    Here are some more photos I just did recently with the singer Shawna Locey, a beautiful young woman with a powerful voice. You can listen to her songs here.
    Looks like some of my photos are on her MySpace now.

    We spent several hours together, working with different outfits and settings. (By the way, her make up was done by Erin Skipley, a make up artist I work with.). In the end I asked Shawna to sing. (Why did I not think of that before??)
    Shawna Locey

    It was great to hear this strong voice. In her dress she reminded me of a mixture out of Julie Delpy and Rita Hayworth. I don't know if these comparisons do any good, but it's inspiring to see these pictures pop up in your head. In any case, it's beautiful if somebody can sing this way, raise the voice for herself. Breathing deep and being proud, standing there.

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  • Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    Darcy Burner

    Darcy Burner

    I did this photo of Darcy Burner for last October's issue of Seattle Woman Magazine. She ran for congress as a Democrat in the state of Washington last year against Dave Reichert, a Republican, in the 8th district. As they were all hard at work on the campaign that day, I only had a few minutes, so this one comes out fairly casual.

    The 8th had voted Republican for this office the last six times, so it was surprising to some that Burner came so close to winning. Will hear more from her in the future, I feel. You can still read the article. It is in archive with other past stories here.

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  • Sunday, February 11, 2007

    BeadsforLife Cover for Seattle Woman Magazine

    Devin Hibbard of BeadsForLife, a nonprofit organization that helps women in the Third World

    Devin Hibbard of BeadsForLife

    My first entry...

    A cover I shot recently for Seattle Woman Magazine. This is Devin Hibbard of BeadsForLife, a nonprofit organization that helps women in the Third World help themselves. You can download the entire copy of this print magazine from here. It changes every month, of course, but I often do the covers and some inside work.

    . . . . . . .
    ETA on Sept 2, 2007: The issue with the story on Devin Hibbard and BeadsForLife is still available directly from this unposted link, but I don't know for how long.
    . . . . . . .

    Angela Blackburn in Seattle Woman Magazine

    Another photo from inside the same issue: this one I made of Angela Blackburn for an article on daughters who take care of their parents.

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  • SISTERS & GIRLFRIENDS - Elena and Chiara

    Today is International Women's Day. I am thinking of how important women's friendships are with their girlfriends and their sisters....