Pacific Northwest Photographer |


Encouraging others and exploring oneself


May 9th, 2007 was the day my life changed. She came out screaming, all 8 lbs, 8 oz of her. I named her Layna and she was my little life changer.

Before her, I was content to never have a single photograph. I didn't own a camera and I could count on my hands how many pictures I had taken in the past 10 years. All of a sudden I was transformed, I was caught up in her beautiful spell. All I wanted was to savor and capture every single memory, every single moment.

That is when my love affair with photography began. I bought myself my first Canon. I didn't know what to do with it, so I just started snapping away. I would set a scene all centered around my muse and I would point and shoot to my heart's content. When she was a toddler we started adventuring. We would go somewhere every day and it soon became our rhythm. We would hit the aquarium, the zoo, the park, it really didn't matter, all I needed was my sweet Layna and my precious canon. It was us against the world.

This went on as I had my second daughter and then my son. Our adventures became our anthem, our vibe, it's who we were. Each one bringing us closer together. One thing always remained the same, me in the background capturing the innocence of their childhood. I didn't take any classes and I didn't know how to properly use my camera. So when I walked into Best Buy to get my hands on a Canon 5D the lady must have read the "I have no clue what to do with this thing" sign that was clearly slapped across my forehead. She looked at me quizzically and began to go over the basics with me. How could I have owned a great camera and not known how to use it to its full potential? The answer was simple. I was love drunk! The camera and its gadgets had never mattered to me.

Seeing my babies smiling faces through my lens is what fed my addiction. So I learned the basics from a girl named Julia. She had an amazing amount of patience. As soon as I started using my new knowledge all I wanted was to learn more. I tried a lot of button pushing to begin with, but all that did was land me right back at Best Buy with my new friend Julia. I had messed up my settings so badly it took her another lesson and a promise that I would be back again the following week. I found the more I tried the better my photos turned out! I would push this button and rotate that dial and soon enough I found I actually had a pretty good understanding of it all.

Photography has become my passion. I definitely feel restless when I haven't picked up my camera in a few days. I truly crave that creative outlet. I started my business on a hope and a prayer this summer and to my urprise it took right off. I really feel that your passions find you, even when you're not looking. 

Sami Costelow