Monday, November 16, 2009

Photographs, trips, Seattle events, holiday photo sessions and what comes with that (plus the nephew special!)

Sculpture by Ted Trey Jones. Photo by Valentina Vitols, Seattle 2009

It's been a while since I last posted an update here. My excuses are valid, though: moving to a new home (in the neighborhood of Eastlake, Seattle), putting up a show and traveling.

A lot has been accomplished. I feel these last two months deserve a bit of a "thumbs up", like the one pictured above, a sculpture by fellow artist and very talented furniture designer Trey Jones. This particular photo shoot was a fun challenge (4 hours), and reminded me how much I enjoy working around other media and with art.

Now, a bit about the trips and the latest work at the studio.

First, we went to Mexico, specifically to Puebla and Tlaxcala State. Three main goals had us fly there: my teaching gig at Esperanza Viva (for Aver School), working a possible photo tour to the area and a long-awaited photo trip. This trip might take two or three blog entries: Mexico is infinitely generous when it comes to giving to people. Images, food, conversations, moods, vibrance. This is why I have been there 7 times...and will go back for more.

Two images called people's attention during the show. The first one was taken on a visit to Hacienda Soltepec (I remember telling my friend Ruth, who was standing next to me, "this one is making the cut!"). The second one was taken close to Puebla's Downtown, on a morning Ryan, Ruth and I went for a photo stroll. Mexico is "texture photography" galore.

Vaquero. Photo by Valentina Vitols, Mexico 2009

Ojo de Metal y Palo. Photo by Valentina Vitols, Mexico 2009

The experience teaching 40 students (ages 8-16) was wonderful and unforgettable. I was blessed to have Ryan helping, and the amazing support of Ruth, founder and Director or Aver School, an initiative I feel so honored to have worked with. The best part of the experience was the kids. Full of life, bursting with interest and very talented. If you want to see the final works of our students, please take a look at Aver School Flickr Pool here.

Kevin & German, my students at Esperanza Viva. Photo by Valentina Vitols. Puebla, Mexico 2009

In the mean time, I had the chance to work with some absolutely amazing clients, at the studio and outside, taking advantage of the end of the Summer and the beauty of our Seattle parks. I met Tanya and Jeff at the Seattle City Stimulus closing party, and they were just ready to bring the family to a photo session. Including their four-legged daughter, Emy.

Wonderful Sounders Family Fun! Photo by Valentina Vitols, Seattle 2009

Loved, loved, loved when Jeff, Tanya, their girls and their cute Frenchie Emy wore their Sounders gear to pose for a family portrait. The day of the studio session they were headed to neighborgh Quest Field for a fun afternoon of my favorite sport, soccer.

Then it was the girls' turn. They were wonderful to work with (including the pup girl).

Alexandria & Sidney holding their cute Frenchie, Emy. Photo by Valentina Vitols, Seattle 2009

A few weeks later, I had the chance to work with a great couple, Timothy & Lori. Even though they got married in Hawaii, they wanted an engagment session in the city where they live, so they asked me to photograph them at Volunteer Park. It wasn't a promising morning, but y'all know how unpredictable Seattle weather can be: a rainy sunrise developed into a golden morning. Couldn't be better. It was so much fun to work with them!

Timothy & Lori at Volunteer Park. Photo by Valentina Vitols, Seattle 2009

Timothy & Lori at Volunteer Park. Photo by Valentina Vitols, Seattle 2009

I also had the chance to work with a little doll named Violet. Photographing children is becoming one of my favorite parts of work. Her loving parents chose The Olympic Sculpture Park for the session, and wind et al, we made it work into some stunning images.

Violet at Olympic Sculpture Park. Photo by Valentina Vitols, Seattle 2009

Violet at Olympic Sculpture Park. Photo by Valentina Vitols, Seattle 2009

Then, the trip to Europe came. We went to a photo trip with fellow photographers from my home country, Venezuela. The school where I began my studies in photography, Roberto Mata Taller de Fotografia, organizes amazing trips through their traveling company, Larga Distancia Expediciones Fotograficas. Thanks to them, I know my country fairly well, and got the opportunity to go to Southeast Asia as a photographer in 2007 (Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar).

This time, we went to Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. For those who don't know, I'm half-Latvian and a citizen of the country. My father was born in Riga, so this trip was very important to me. I will be writing individual posts for each country in the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned.

After the photo leg of the trip finished, we spent almost a week in London visiting my family. I got to enjoy my little nephew, who is the most adorable, smart and food savvy little gentleman on the face of earth (yes, not a drop of objective feelings here, I know). Both Ryan and I shot thousands of photos (you read it right). We will be showing them soon, too. For now, here are some candids that I shot while strolling with the family through the city.

Double Decker Bells! Photo by Valentina Vitols. London, UK 2009

My little man. Photo by Valentina Vitols, London UK 2009

I posted these two photos on Twitter asking which one people liked the most (color--or colours, as spelled in the UK--or B&W). Answers were 50-50. Thoughts?

Do you like B&W or Colour? Photo by Valentina Vitols, London, UK 2009

Hey, London! Photo by Valentina Vitols, London UK 2009

After we were back in Seattle, we attended a book event with Jaden Hair, the food writer for Tampa Tribune, television chef on Daytime and Tampa Bay's CBS whose blog,, is a smashing hit. We got together at Bustle in Queen Anne, in a lovely event put together by Keren Brown Media (@franticfoodie on Twitter).

All assistants were encouraged to bring their signature dish. Jaden picked one to prepare in her TV show. The lucky winner was
Scott Heimendinger (@seattlefoodgeek on Twitter).

Jaden generously sharing tips and stories with us. Photo by Valentina Vitols, Seattle 2009 sponsored the event. Photo by Valentina Vitols, Seattle 2009

My cheese, leeks & turkey bacon bread bowl (I cook some times!) Photo by Valentina Vitols, Seattle 2009

What's next for the studio? The weekend of December 4th, 5th and 6th I will be having a Photo Open Studio for those who want to come and have their Holiday photos taken. Is a family event, so bring grandparents, kids and pets (got to love being a pet-friendly business!) Call or send an me an email for appointments.

To wrap up this long entry, I'm going to do something different, and this is a little present for my fellow Seattleites. I'm listing some great events happening in the next 15 days in the Seattle area, to which I'm positive I will be attending to. If you know of any great happening in town, send it my way to post it here (studio at valenvitols dot com).

Seattle Events:

November 18th, 2009: SPUN & Jesica Milton "Shop & Chill". Follow fabulous Sarah from SPUN on Twitter at @choosespun

Until November 19th: Screening of Venezuelan film masterpiece "Araya" at the Northwest Film Forum (@nff on Twitter)

November 21st: A Bastyrian Wintern Madrigal Feast and Fundraiser for the Bastyr University Arts Fund.
Linda Phelps is doing a fantastic job as Bastyr University's choir director.

December 4th: The Carol Brunnettes Show - The Great Figgy Pudding 2009. Lovely @knitpurl will be part of this fun ensemble.

December 4th: Anomie Belle will be performing live, including new material set to release in 2010. Anomie Belle, Tristeza, Drew Andrews (of The Album Leaf) $10 / $12 day of show at the Sunset Tavern (5433 Ballard Ave NW)

December 5th: Ellie Bluebell Designs Annual Holiday Trunk Show. I love working with Ellie Bluebell for Holiday cards. I take the photos, they'll give you beautiful card to go with said photos! They also sell delicious Rosemary Salt (my salt of choice), Lavender Sugar and much more. Message me at studio at valenvitols dot com to send you the Evite!

December 5th: Stella Coffee 1st Anniversary get together (details on their FB fan page)

December 11th: Hello! A Seattle Music Project. Love supporting local bands? This will do it!

Feel free to add more events in the comment box. I will be more than happy to feature them in future entries.

Besos for all!


SteamyKitchen said...

Hey hellooooo there! Can you hear me -- I'm saying hi all the way across the US in Florida!!!
Thank you so much for being the photographer for the event!

xoxo jaden

Marissa said...

The photos are stunning! I especially love the Man and horse in Mexico. Beautiful! I cannot wait to see your new place!!

Valentina Vitols said...

Jaden, it was a pleasure! Loved meeting you and taking the photos, but especially listening to your great stories. You rock!

@Marissa: thanks, my dear! Will have you here soon <3

Tiffany S. said...

We still need to meet for lunch! My office is right between your (new) home and studio so let me know when you're free!

Mary T. said...

That Vaquero photo is gorgeous. (Everything is; just really love that one.) -- Mary T. Sheely

Valentina Vitols said...

Thanks, Mary! It was a very fortunate little moment.