• Welcome to Sarah Sweetman Photography

    Who am I? I am a mother, I am a wife, I am a sister, I am friend. I am a kiwi, I am a world explorer, I am in love with finding beauty in every day moments. I am sometimes silly, I always love to laugh, I like to look for the best in everything.

    I believe photographs are a visual record of your story. I believe it is my honor to capture your memories so you can relive moments over and over long after they have passed.

    I believe in the real you. The beauty in the perfectly imperfect.

    I am an award winning photographer specializing in birth, maternity, newborn and family portrait photography. I serve the wider Seattle WA community, but also travel further when needed.

  • Maternity

    16 images

    Birth Stories

    59 images

    Newborn

    26 images

    Babies

    15 images

    Kids

    17 images

    Families

    13 images

Two Summers ago I made the decision to, for the most part, informally do something special with the kids every day – it didn’t have to be big or expensive, but I wanted to make sure that the Summer didn’t pass by without making memories together – I miss them when they are at school all day and actually look forward to them being home over the Summertime.

Last year, we decided to make a bucket list to make our plans a little more organized – well more so I didn’t do forgot things:)

It was so successful, that I decided to do a new and improved version for 2014.

I don’t expect to get through ALL of these things – but at least each day we can wake up and tick something off the list if the kids are stuck on ideas.  I will try and make posts of some of the adventures we get up to:)

So, without further ado – and with a giant drum roll…100 things we could get up to this Summer. :)  Want to join me?

1. picnic at the park

2. play in a pool (yes, kiddie pool counts)

3. travel to a new city

4. homemade pizza party

5. make pet rocks

6. have a cousin sleepover

7. watch a movie at an park outdoor “Movie Nights”

8. go to a summer concert

9. tie dye t-shirts

10. go on a family hike

11. scavenger hunt walk

12. lunch with dad at work

13. visit the library

14. make ice cream in a baggie

15. visit the IMAX theater at Pacific Science Centre

16. create a fondue night

17. catch fireflies or bugs or butterflies

18. have a water balloon fight

19. pick berries & eat them

20. go to a parade

21. make homemade cookies and decorate them

22. hunt for shapes in the clouds

23. go to a water splash pad

24. play Legos

25. go fishing (pretend fishing is fine too)

26. build an indoor fort using blankets

27. make a fort in the forest behind our house

28. backyard water games

29. go to a soccer game

30. go to the zoo or aquarium

31. have a fun summer reading program

32. family bike ride adventure

33. catch a frog or salamander

34. make S’mores over the campfire

35. make and bury a time capsule

36. go bird watching

37. make homemade popsicles

38. play catch or frisbee

39. play a new board game

40. go see a fireworks show

41. mail a letter to someone special

42. attend a kids workshop at Home Depot or Lowe’s

43. have our own outdoor movie night with friends or by oursleves

44. camp in the tent in the backyard

45. learn to hula hoop

46. have a home dance party

47. go to  7-11 and have slushies

48. have a 1:1 date with each of my kids

49. fly a kite

50. go on a road trip somewhere new

51. do a fun science project

52. have a boys only / girls only weekend

53. make a bird feeder

54. draw with giant chalk

55. make paper airplanes and race them

56. make sail boats and race them

57. set up or make a slip n slide

58. ride “The Duck”

59. skip rocks in a river

60. make smoothies and create new recipes

61. go to a children’s museum

62. make something nice for a neighbor or friend

63. plant and eat from an edible garden

64. have a family talent show

65. play at the school playground

66. make friendship bracelets

67. create an obstacle course

68. have a real tea party

69. make homemade bubbles

70. go to an amusement park

71. make root beer floats and enjoy them

72. make homemade play dough

73. do a jigsaw puzzle

74. have a pillow fight

75. play mini golf

76. have an ice cream party

77. make sand castles at the park or beach

78. go to a skate park or skating rink

79. go to a local fair

80. homemade sock puppets

81. make a fun video

82. write a story

83. have a treasure hunt

84. go horseback riding

85. make up a new language and teach it to someone

86. go in a bouncy house

87. play flashlight tag

88. eat watermelon and have a seed spitting contest afterwards

89. make sun catchers

90. visit a park we have never been to before

91. go to the beach

92. ride a train

93. have a date with grandparents

94. have a puppet show

95. visit a farmyard/petting zoo

96. Go on a ferry ride

97. make candles out of recycled crayons

98. visit the Ballard locks

99. favorite movies marathon

100. make treats for your new teacher

So there you have it.  Our 2nd bucket list of fun Summer ideas.

What will your family be doing this Summer??

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  • Kristi Marie Hammond - June 19, 2014 - 4:01 pm

    Thanks Sarah! This is a great list. We are making our list today, so thank you for all the great suggestions :) ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - July 23, 2014 - 5:10 am

    This is awesome, I can’t wait to do this with you!ReplyCancel

I work in an industry that can be very supportive, and also very competitive.  Though I have come across my fair share of photographers who don’t want to have a coffee, or go location scouting, I have also come across photographers that genuinely want to be friends and make this industry better.

They inspire me to do better, they push me to try new techniques, give feedback on work and I feel blessed to have them in my life.  We connect via facebook and email as we are from all over the country.

I am going to spotlight a few fellow photographers from around the US and here in Seattle WA so you can meet them too:)

First up, meet the lovely, and very talented, Suri Moonesinghe from Honeydew Photography, based in Suwanee, GA.

Q: Please tell us a little about yourself.

A. I am Suri Moonesinghe, a mom, wife, daughter and a photographer. I am located in Suwanee, GA about 30 miles away from Atlanta. I am originally from an Island called Sri Lanka.

Q: How did you get into photography?

A: I don’t have a fancy story of getting into photography. When my son was born we didn’t have digital cameras, so I was using a film camera to capture his everyday moments. However, I got a digital camera and fell in love with photography more. That’s about it.

Q:  I know photographers draw inspiration from all sorts of places.  Can you tell us what inspires you?

A:  My surrounding inspires me as a photographer. I like lifestyle, street photography. I think there are a lot out there to photograph. I read online blogs and photography magazines for inspiration.

Q: When a client books you, what do you want them to know most about you?

A: I like my clients to know that I enjoy working with them and capture their moments to cherish for a lifetime.  When I deliver meaningful images that makes me proud

Q. I see you do a lot of newborn sessions.  What advice do you have for a new mom getting ready for her newborn session?

A: All my newborn session are done at clients homes. I always tell them we are not going to rush through the session and make them at east first. I sent them how to prepare guide for their newborn session. Most first time mom’s are nervous and excited about getting the pictures done. I always encourage mom to get in the pictures with their new baby.

Q.  Do you have any fun plans for the next 12 months?

A: This is a tough question. I am planning on working on more marketing for new parents and families as I work mainly with children and families. I have a product guide and planning on educating my clients on the value of getting their photos printed. My 2014 prices are based on print packages.

 

Wow Suri, it was great to meet you!  Thank you so much for letting me interview you.

If you want to get hold of Suri and you are in the Atlanta GA area, here are her contact details:

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  • Michelleflowersphotography LC - June 5, 2014 - 1:53 am

    I love the feature story on Honey Dew Photography! I thought you have wonderful and creative questions for her!! Wow, what can I say about those beautiful newborn pictures that you have added to this story!! I am sure the family of these babies are thrilled to have such a creative and talented photographer photograph their precious little babies!! On a entirely different note Sarah Sweetman what a great job telling her story, I love the way you started out simply speaking about the truth in photography business but yet walk into how when becoming a supportive team , how both people can win from the friendship even if only through the world wide web Great job Sarah Sweetman Photography!! ReplyCancel

Looking forward to being a parent is an amazing time in a couple’s lives…but I think there is something uniquely wonderful about anticipating baby #2.  Yes, you have been through the sleepless nights and the poop explosions and the milk milk milk…but you also get to watch your firstborn become a bog brother or sister.  You get to smell that newborn fresh smell and touch their soft fuzzy hair.  You get to anticipate their first smile, their first giggle and watch a baby grow through the eyes of a child.

The B family met with me to do an outdoor + studio maternity session.  It was just as well, as in true Seattle style it began to rain about 20 mins into the session.  Momma-to-be E is just stunning – don’t you think??

I cant wait till their little bundle of joy arrives soon – I see cute newborn photos in our near future.  xo

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  • Suri Moonesinghe - June 4, 2014 - 10:52 pm

    these are very adorable…wow…I love the indoor and nice outdoor location. Great maternity photos by Kirkland Seattle Maternity PhotographerReplyCancel

I met Ilse years ago when my children attended BCS preschool which was attached to the school Ilse’s children go to. Then we met again on a “pay it forward” session I did for a friend of hers. Our paths have crossed at random times and places ever since, like at the supermarket or on the soccer field. More recently, I heard about the product she and a friend Anneli created to be a fun way to countdown to special occasions called So Many Days. As I looked into what they were doing more, I was impressed at the way they deliberately sourced items from developing nations around the globe, so their product would have an impact on lives, at a global level. I am sure you will agree, that these simple but oh so fun calendars are a great idea for the lead up to any special day.

 

Q: Tell us a little about who you are.

We are both South African born and raised. That corner of the world will always be a part of us. We both traveled and worked professionally, before settling down to start families a bit later in life. Husbands’ jobs brought us to Seattle. Our boys are the same ages, and consider each other half-brothers. Anneli’s daughter Miemie has Angelman syndrome, and she has been a forming influence in all our lives.

 

Q: How did you meet each other?

When Anneli moved to Seattle, she set out to meet other families whose kids also spoke her native language, Afrikaans. She contacted a local social club for Southern African expats, where Ilse was president at the time. It was an instant match in more ways than one.

 

Q: What does a typical day in your life look like?

Up early, before the kids, to go for a run, meditate and plan. Then follow the kids, school lunches and drop-offs. Our workday starts with a call-in, or meeting each other at a halfway spot. We are involved as volunteers at school, which typically calls for 3-4 drop-ins per week. Business meetings are scheduled between 10am and 2pm.  Once school gets out, we are out of circulation and involved in family goings-on. Often, the second part of our workday starts around 9pm.

Q: What was the inspiration for creating the countdown calendars? How did you get started?

As Anneli put away her advent calendar one year, it struck her how fun it would be to celebrate the anticipation of other special life moments in a similar way. With this spark of inspiration, she called Ilse, and ideas started flying. We wanted to combine our passions, and our desire to make a difference both where we live and where we come from, with a business idea. And that is how So Many Days was born…

 

Q: Tell us more about how you source products from developing nations?

We started out by sourcing information from Fair Trade organizations. One thing invariably leads to another, and we have since made contact with artisans around the world through a mail delivery man, locally owned shops, personal contacts, and many other ways. We try hard to cut out the middleman, and work directly with an organization and its artisans. Importing remains a challenge because it drives up costs, but it is important to us to provide a platform to these talented people and we try to stay creative that way.

 

Q: How do you stay grounded, balancing life with kids, a husband, a business…?

Amazing family and friends surround us, and their support and feedback is immeasurable. We involve the kids in the business, which is a win-win situation for all of us. The learning process keeps us grounded. We have been blessed by input from people with amazing business experience and successes, people who have spent time with us, often pro bono. When more important things take priority to business, we try to allow it. We have laughing fits about mistakes we’ve made.

 

Q: What do you want your kids to remember most about their childhood?

They were Happy, they Belonged, and they started making a Difference from early on.

 

Q: What advice do you have for someone wanting to start their own business?

People do not buy what you do, but why you do it. Try to figure that part out first, on as many levels as you can.

 

Ilse and Annneli – thank you for creating a business that gives back – not only to the families buying these fun calendars, but to developing nations around the globe.  Bless you both!  http://somanydays.com/

xo

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I met the lovely Michelle about 4 years ago through a mutual friend. She was, at the time, working for Gene Juarez, and did hair color and hair relaxing for me (which I was so grateful for). When you sit in a hairdresser’s chair, you get to know them well, and I enjoyed every minute getting to know Michelle.  She is sweet beyond words and has a gentle spirit.  She is loyal, and giving and an excellent baker.  She recently started her own business and I couldn’t be prouder of her – she has clients visit in her gorgeous home salon – it is peaceful and pretty and walking in makes you feel pampered before you even start.  If you are looking for someone who can make your hair gorgeous, look no further than Simply Beautiful Color.  I promise.

Well, I know you are dying to get to know her, so I want to introduce you to my friend Michelle. xo

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

A: My name is Michelle McAteer, I have been a hairdresser for 15 years. When I was little I wanted to be a waitress/hair dresser/test pilot. I love being creative in all areas of my life.


Q: What does a typical day in your life look like?

A: My typical day is starts with playing with my dog Griffin and then getting ready to head off to the salon for a day of beautification.

Q: How did you get your start in Hair?  Did you always want to be a hairdresser?

A: I have always had a passion for hair, I used to braid my friends hair during story time and get my friends ready for school dances. I even gave a speech on how to color your hair in high school. So when I graduated, beauty school was the oblivious choice for me.

A: My favorite aspect of my job is helping women feel their best, I love the smile my clients have after their service is complete.

Q: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: I draw inspiration from each client, from their beauty and then I enhance it. I am also committed to education and staying current on the newest techniques and trends.

Q: How do you stay grounded, balancing a busy life?

A: I am blessed to be able to do what I love everyday. I keep it all balanced by making lists and planning out my week on my day off.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?

Q: Tell us a little about your puppy-baby Griffin?

A: I don’t have any children, but I have a four-legged baby named Griffin. He is a 9 year old Maltese and the cutest dog ever, if I do say so myself. He loves people and putting on a show.
nm2

Q: I know you are also an amazing cook – what is your favorite recipe?

A: Cooking is another passion of mine. I love try out new recipes and I read cookbooks in bed like novels. I am currently experimenting with gluten free baking, which is very tricky but I enjoy the challenge.

Q: What advice do you have for someone wanting to start their own business?

A: My advice to anyone starting a business is to not get over whelmed by all the details. There are a lot of steps involved but if your break them down and try to accomplish a few things everyday you will feel like you are making progress and enjoy the process. And seek out others who have done this before, ask their advice, listen to what they would do differently and use them as a sounding board for ideas. But most importantly believe in yourself, you can do anything if you believe;)

 

thank you so much for sharing Michelle – I have loved getting to know you xo

Simply Beautiful Color – http://www.simplybeautifulcolor.com/

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  • April Bowman - May 21, 2014 - 11:39 pm

    I have known Michelle for close to 20yrs and she has done my hair for that duration of time. She is simply incredible as a person and stylist. A true creative and expert at all things hair, beauty and baking. Michelle is the nicest, most giving and loving person that I have ever met. Treat yourself to beautification by Michelle, you will be pleased indeed! ReplyCancel

  • Marjie Schaefer - May 22, 2014 - 12:28 am

    So blessed by this and I benefit from Michelle’s expertise! Love herReplyCancel

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