Pro Tip – When & How to Use FLASH

Most folks have a pop up flash on their camera (and you have one on your phone too!) but everyone ignores it! Fear of the unknown maybe?

1) Indoors

The most obvious. You are indoors in a dark room. Most phones will do it automatically along with cameras if they have been programmed to do so. By all means, if you have a flash, use it inside!

2) Backlighting

Let’s say you are outside and want to take pictures of your group of friends or a selfie of you and some friends. Instead of putting the sun on your face and making everyone squint, do a 180, put the sun behind you and turn on your flash!

3) Outside/Cloudy Day

Yes, cloudy days can be very good for portraits- in some cases. When we have our really dark grey days though… you will get dark circles under everyones eyes and all other subjects will just look a little muddy in general. So, do some fill flash! Basically, have your flash go off with half or a quarter of the power of the full flash setting. This will give your images a nice pop!

4) Diffuser

Have a flash, but want a less sharp more pleasing light on your subject? Often flashes come with one already…but I think most folks ignore it. You can purchase a fairly inexpensive one and put it over your flash to diffuse and soften the light. It’s an excellent tool and I use mine all the time!

5) Bounce

Another way to get a more indirect or softer light on a subject is to bounce your flash off the ceiling or walls. Keep in mind, if the wall is purple, then the light will be purple, so this works best on a white surface. Always wondered why your flash pivots or swivels? This is why!

6) Fill Card

Again, this comes built into many flash units, but if you don’t have one a simple piece of white paper or other material will work. Simply attach it to the backside of your flash when your flash is pointed straight upwards. Your flash will bounce off this card and add a softer fill light to your subject as well as providing a different and lower angle of shadow.

Experiment with your flash! It can really give your photos the pop they need sometimes!

Me, Kids & Life…

Yes, we can all say we have survived the wettest winter on record since 1865 when they started taking record! Whew! Looking forward to more sunshine.

It’s been a while since I sent out a newsletter and the Christmas cards never did materialize. Life is always busy as usual. I started off my year with a once in a lifetime trip to New Zealand and Australia. WOW! An amazing trip I can’t say enough about! Many thanks to Skipper Dave for putting this trip together!

Eight of us flew into Aukland and sailed from there up the East Coast of the North Island to the Bay of Islands (sorta like going to the San Juans). The three day, 150 mile sail up the coast was phenomenal! We had great winds and weather on our journey.

Once in the Bay of Islands, home to 150 small islands… we cruised around, anchored, hiked and explored the area. Yes, it was a dream… We then drove back to Aukland were some of us then continued on to Sydney… we were so close, you kinda gotta go, right?

I had 5 wonderful days in Sydney taking in all the sights and experiences that I could manage. The beaches are great, the Bridge Climb was a fun rush and the weather kept me constantly putting on sun screen! The highlight in Sydney was getting to sail in the regular Friday night race in Sydney Harbor. Wow! What a treat!

Thanks so much to Jane for connecting me with her friend Mitch who skippers the “Goat”, which has done the Sydney to Hobart race several times- so this was no small boat! We had 30mph gusts, came in second and only hit the committee boat once! 🙂 A super fun night for sure!

Can’t wait to go back to both NZ and Australia and see more of both of these amazing countries. Which by the way, could not be more different. A common saying I learned while down under…In NZ, nothing can kill you… (no snakes, spiders or deadly creatures inhabit the island) but in AUS everything can kill you!!

      “The Crew”
                 Fun day at the helm! Poor Knights Islands in the background.

Kids are doing well! Scot just finished his Senior year at Western and will return for his “Super Senior” year this Fall to do his last couple classes. After that, he is talking about taking a gap year before deciding on which medical path to take with his Bio Chem major. I am excited to see where his career/journey takes him!

He still gets together with his band mates Trevor and Aaron on occasion and jams with them. He also still volunteers with the Humphrey House and recently was featured in an article about this Adult Family home that houses folks living with HIV/Aids. He also still volunteers with the local hospital and is next in line for a Scribe position. He hopes to get the position for a Summer job. Fingers crossed!

Sam finished her Freshman year at WSU and managed to pull off a really great GPA, even with all the Sorority and Fraternity “events” that WSU is known for 🙂 I am super proud of her. It was long year for her with the constant snow and wind. She still can’t figure out why they built the school on a hill so all the classes seem to be uphill?

She was fortunate and got to move into her sorority house (KKG) after the Holidays. The house has been a much better support system and social environment than the dorm turned out to be. She is looking forward to another year at the house. She is now home for the Summer and nannying for the same family she has nannied for the last 6 years or so. Fun, but exhausting job for her! It’s great to have her home!

My business continues to grow. A good thing when you are self employed! I had the busiest first quarter ever this year. I have found a niche in being hired to do images for companies doing a new or refreshing an old website. 10 years ago, it was a must to have a website. Now, with online competition even more fierce, it is now becoming even more important to have a GREAT website. This is where I come in.

I can do all the photography a company needs, from portraits, to exteriors, action shots and products. It keeps my job interesting and lets me exercise all my skills!

I still continue to be very involved with my local Chamber of Commerce. This year I will move from Vice Chair to the Chair position on the Board of Directors. Yikes! How did I get here! haha.

I am also still involved in the Woodinville Marketing and Tourism Committee and had just helped with the formation of Woodinville Arts Alliance which I am really excited about! You will be hearing more from us soon! In the meantime, follow/like us on Facebook!

Have a great Summer everyone!
Cheers, Carol:)
Product Photography by Carol Hook

Product Photography

I have been having a blast doing product photography. It’s been both a challenge to my skills and fun learning along the way. Lately, I have had more food photography. Can’t wait to see what comes my way next

Please think of me for any product photography you need or if you know someone else that does.

If you want your images to stand out on a website- then please put away your cell phone and hire a professional for the job! 🙂

Family Portrait By Carol Hook

Classic Family Portraits

Preserve your memories and create family heirlooms with Classic Family Portraits!

When is the last time you had a family portrait taken?

Summer is the time to get your family portraits taken before your kids go off to college.

Call now to reserve a date or book your appointment here.

Senior Photo

Senior Portraits to be Treasured…

Sometimes a Senior Portrait is the only professional portrait someone will ever have taken. It’s iconic, classic and captures the memory to treasure for a lifetime.

It’s time to start booking your appointments for your Senior Portraits!

The Summer will fly by quickly and it’s best to get your portraits done before the craziness of school starts.

I love photographing my Seniors and I have packages/sessions from very basic here at the studio to downtown/fashion shoots.

I also have sessions for 3 Seniors together if a set of friends would all like to be photographed at the same time.

Click here for info: Senior Brochure


New Magazine featuring my Woodinville Winery images goes live!

I was contacted a few months ago about photographing Doug Long, the winemaker at Obelisco Winery here in Woodinville. I mentioned him in an earlier post.

These images were for the  first issue of a magazine called GrayOkay! which just went live this month. This magazine is aimed at the crowd that lingers between middle age and Silver. The Gray crowd. Great concept! Still a very active bunch and we will all be there before we know it!

Check out the publication and give me your feedback…


Right place, right time….

Getting amazing images, especially landscapes is really about timing. So, often we photographers visit the same place several times, waiting for the right time and the right light. No two nights are ever exactly the same.

Sometimes however, we get lucky and we just happen to be in the right place at the right time! This happened to me last week as I was leaving an event I was shooting in Seattle. I walked outside and the sky was filled with stunning pink clouds. Lucky for me I had my camera with me! I never grow tired of photographing the city skyline, so this was a treat! That is the supermoon coming up just to the right of the Smith Tower. The only thing I was missing was a ferry! Ha! Next time I guess….

Right place, right time....

Love my long time clients!

One of the coolest parts of my career is watching children and families grow up. It’s such a honor to record these memories, this family history for them. I did a a shoot a couple weeks ago of Bjorn. His is 12 now. I have been photographing him since he was born. How cool is that! Kim, his Mom is incredibly diligent and she has had each of her children photogaphed by my me every year. We still have to get Kim in a portrait…. but I am working on that! Parents can be more stubborn than their kids sometimes!

Here is a photo of Bjorn at 1 and now at 12…… Wow….. so cool…..

Thanks Kim and Aaron for giving me the pleasure and honor to record your family history with portraits!!

Love my long time clients! 2015-11-02_1210_001 2015-11-02_1210_002

Murals go up at Redmond Marriott!

This was such a fun project! I was called and asked to take portraits of several of the Redmond Marriott’s staff. All of these staff members have been with this particular Marriott since it opened ten years ago. They wanted to celebrate these associates with professional portraits and then turn these portraits into wall murals to hang in the hotel. I think they came out really cool!

I think one of the best things about my job is the variety of images/jobs. So fun! I hope ALL the other Marriotts want to do this too!

Murals go up at Redmond Marriott!

Murals go up at Redmond Marriott!


Woodinville Artist – Professional Portrait

There are so many talented folks out there and it’s cool to find one lives right around the corner from you!

Yuming Zhu paints in pastels and oils. His work is absolutely beautiful. He paints in the Sumi-Asian Style and

teaches quite a bit as well.

He has a very spacious studio on his property which allows him to create some pretty large scale work.

It’s always fun to meet and to photograph an artist.

If you would like to check out his work:

Woodinville Artist - Professional PortraitWoodinville Artist - Professional Portrait 2015-11-01_1004_001 2015-11-01_1004_002 2015-11-01_1005 2015-11-01_1005_001 2015-11-01_1005_002