My Amazing Son and the Regional Spelling Bee!

I am incredibly proud of my son, Kyler. After winning his school spelling bee, he went to the Regional Spelling Bee in Seattle. He made it to the fifth round and was one of 10 remaining contestants for a spot in the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. His big goal going in was not to make a silly mistake in the first round, so he exceeded his goal.

He is truly a complete package and I couldn’t be more proud. In addition to his spelling prowess, he is also school president and captain of his select soccer team. Plus, look at how great looking he is! ;)

ky-spelling

My Daughter and her 16th Birthday Party!

My daughter had her 16th birthday and her party last week.  I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try out my new “studio”.  Alyssa shared her party with one her best friends, Emily.  Here are some photos of them in their party dresses before the bash!

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The new “studio” is located just to right of my lawnmower….

Warning - She's Driving!

My little girl just got her instruction permit from the Washington State Department of Licensing. Below is a recent photo of my little Alyssa. I swear I took it not very long ago! I think they let them drive when they are way too young! A recent photo of my daughter, now driving.

To be honest, Alyssa is a great kid. Very hard-working, intelligent, funny, responsible, etc. The photo below is a photo from our recent trip to Arizona. She almost looks old enough to drive in this one. She has assisted me very competently at weddings. It is a pleasure to see what a great person she is turning into!

My Grandma at 90!

My Grandmother is a wonderful person. She has always been there for me. I lived with her for a couple of years while going to college, she loaned me money to buy camera gear (paid back at $100 per month for 30 months no interest), and has just been there for me. Here is a photo of her taken on her 90th birthday a couple weeks ago. portrait of my grandmother!

Seattle wedding photographer & the Christmas Tree!

We love Christmas.  The lights, the fun family memories, the presents, the excited kids – it’s all great!  We put up our tree the other day.  Here are a few images I took.  These were all taken with the combination of a Canon 5D and a 24 1.4L. 

holiday christmas ornaments by seattle wedding photographer cory parrisbeautiful woman decorating a christmas tree by seattle wedding photographer cory parrisCute little boy decorating a chrstmas tree by seattle wedding photographer cory parrisholiday ornaments with a 24 1.4 canon lens by seattle wedding photographer cory parristeenage girl decorating a christmas tree by seattle wedding photojournalist cory parrisred ball holiday christmas ornamentholiday star ornament by seattle wedding photographer cory parrisangel ornament by seattle wedding photographer cory parrischristmas tree out of focus

Christmas tree out of focus.  Just for fun, I spun the ring on the lens to make the tree be out of focus.  I thought it looked pretty cool!

Hard Rock Seattle!

I have a very good friend that is a manager at the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle. Mat (pictured below) is not only a restaurant manager, but also a very talented wildlife photographer. If you happen to visit his site, you will see wildlife of the animal kind just to be clear. He invited my family down for a friends and family preview of the cafe, which was very cool. We also got a guided tour and my daughter was thrilled to be able to pick a couple songs to be played. The location and view from the rooftop deck is fantastic. Oh, and the food was good. I recommend the granny smith apple & provolone burger! :) The official opening is on Wednesday, February 10th. hard rock cafe seattle

the fender guitar hard rock cafe sign in seattle

The touch screen at the table

Alyssa rockin' the Hard Rock Stage

Mat, the manager at the Hard Rock.  Thanks for the invite, dude!

View from the rooftop deck

View from the rooftop deck of the hard rock seattle

View from the rooftop deck of the hard rock seattle

the upside down fender guitar sign at the hard rock seattle

Hard Rock Seattle sign near pike place market

The kids and the sign

Olivia & David - Wedding at the Antheia Ballroom in Snohomish!

My "little" cousin David got married! I was lucky enough to be their photographer. It was great to see all of my family and seeing David and Olivia get married. They had the wedding at the Antheia Ballroom in Snohomish. You can find the slideshow here. Congrats David & Olivia! Antheia ballroom in Snohomish

Rings and pine cones - winter wedding

Peeking in to see the bride in her dress

David smiling as he is about to see Olivia

bride and groom hugging as they have their first glance, first sight

bride and groom together on the back patio at the Antheia Ballroom in Snohomish

The bridal party lining up before the start of the wedding outside the Antheia Ballroom

flower girls getting direction during a wedding in snohomish

bride and groom during the ceremony at the antheia ballroom in snohomish

Don't they look happy?  :)

bride and groom walking down the street at night in snohomish

bride and groom's first dance by seattle wedding photographer cory parris

bride dancing with her father by seattle wedding photographer cory parris

groomsman dancing

bride laughing during the dancing

bride and groom kissing on the dance floor

Hunger Challenge!

Last week, we took the Hunger Challenge as part of the United Way of King County's Hunger Week. For five days we gave ourselves the same budget as a family living on food stamps. That is $26 per day for five days, or a $130 for the five days for our family of five. When we were starting, we didn't think it would be incredibly difficult as we don't spend a lot on groceries anyway and none of us are big eaters (some people call us smaller than average, but we prefer fuel efficient). What we found out right away was that we had to do more planning what we would eat each day. There was no room in the budget for changing our minds about what we wanted on a given day. Also, we had to be careful about buying extra stuff. We normally have a fridge and freezer full of alternate meals and food just up for grabs for anyone that is hungry. The same goes for my mid-afternoon snack. I work from my home, so I can walk into our well-stocked pantry or over to the fridge and pick out a snack of either healthy or junk variety. These sorts of things would not be options for that kind of budget.

It would also be hard to get better pricing by buying things in bulk. When you are using your entire food budget each week, buying large amounts of a food product would be extremely difficult even if it saved money in the long run.

All of that said, we did not eat bad this week. We were able to prepare good, nutritious food that was very tasty and in budget. But we only had to do it a for a few days. To have to budget and eat that way for a lifetime, or any extended period of time would be extremely difficult. It would be much harder on a family that had very small children (buying formula), people with dietary restrictions, or just eat more than we do. It would be almost impossible to feed three teenage boys on that kind of budget.

Finally, the hardest thing might be the inability to go out to dinner. We love eating good and interesting food at restaurants, and that is a big part of our weekend entertainment. With this sort of budget, the only eating out option would be to eat fast food.

The day we were done with the hunger challenge, we went out for a frugal Thai meal (yum) that would have added up to a third of our budget for the five days of the challenge on a single meal and felt very fortunate to be able to do it!

We are looking forward to doing more of this sort of thing. We are thinking that we may volunteer at a food bank next!

Trees - A walk at the Mill Creek Town Center

I took a walk with my family at the Mill Creek Town Center. We each had a camera and took some images. Here are a couple I took and one by my nine year-old, Kyler. I will add some images from the rest of the family in the next couple of days. I'm helping each of the kids to process their images, so it is taking a little more time for them to get ready. Ky loves old cars, so he took an image of this old mustang as we walked by

I really liked this leafless tree.

tree-2

For the photo-oriented, I shot with a 5D and my new 50 1.4 Sigma. I am very impressed with the Sigma 50 1.4. It is much sharper than the Canon 50 1.4 at f-stops more wide open than 2.0. The Canon is pretty good at 2.0 on and it is a toss-up there with a tie or slight edge to the Sigma at every f-stop I have tried. Ky's were taken with an old point and shoot. He's nine. :)

My kids!

Here is one of my favorites of my own kids from our holiday portrait session this year. I will making myself a large canvas from this image and a book of the images. mykids-1008.jpg

My Dad

08.jpgHow does one describe one's father. When you are little, he is your hero. When you grow older sometimes you are lucky enough to become friends. And they almost always pass away before you are ready.

My dad died today. The whole world seems different knowing that he is gone.

I remember being very little and his rough beard scratching my face as he tickled me. I remember him looking down his long nose with his piercing green eyes flashing as we argued when I was a teenager. I remember that he bought a new pair of black Levi's to go to my wedding. I remember the last time I talked to him that he told me how lucky I was to have such a great wife.

Goodbye, Dad.