Rikki Rivera | Photographer » Wedding & Portrait Photography

When Katherine and I first met over coffee one afternoon, we ended up talking for well over two hours, pulling ourselves away with the promise to meet again. It was undeniably one of those moments when you hope to connect with a client and it couldn’t have turned out better if you’d tried. My husband teamed up with me for the second meeting where we met Dave, then again for the hike to Franklin Falls for their engagements pictures. The morning started off with a little bit of rain, fog, and cool temps that eventually gave away to warm and blue skies. It was the perfect change of weather for the day.

We talked and hike along the trail, occasionally stopping at a pretty spot or at good light and even tried to convince Dave to get in the water near the falls. We didn’t win that one, but it was ok. I was so excited for this session and how beautiful our surroundings were. By the time we made it back to our final shooting location, I just had to call it quits or I would’ve kept photographing them all day! It was just so good and so much fun.

Katherine and Dave are the best of friends and the cutest couple. Their story is so sweet and genuine, and even realized we could’ve been at the same place at the same time with Katherine’s old job and never have realized it. I love to think of possible moments like that, only to come around to connecting sometime later. Much like the two of them. Two people who know exactly who they are and exactly what they want, knowing they have it when they’re hand in hand is modern day romance at its finest. Just being sure. You really get that when you’re with them.

I am so excited for their Mount Rainier wedding later this summer as they exchange vows and share it with only those closest to them. Congratulations Katherine and Dave, thank you so much for having me!

It’s pretty much the sweetest thing when I get invited to capture extended family of previous clients. JJ, sister of Madi, who’s family I’ve photographed for the past few years, had a precious baby boy and invited me in to document his first week. JJ and Michael welcomed Olliver Michael, and he’s just the sweetest little boy. He reminded me a lot of his cousin Benjamin. I love that JJ and Madi’s family is compromised of girls, and now those girls are having boys.

Not every baby wants to take their window of opportunity to sleep soundly for their session, Olliver was no exception! Even still, I got to cuddle him a lot and he slept for a few moments. I really love the comfort and ease of these types of sessions, and that last family photo might just be one of my very favorites!

Congratulations JJ and Michael, Olliver is just perfect, you two are amazing parents already. He is one lucky little guy. Soak in all that precious newness!

You know those times in your life when you have an experience that makes you realize how small you are in this big ole world? The times where there is so much more out there, so much to believe in, where your faith in humanity is restored, and where you really feel alive… Relay for Life is that for me.

For the fourth year I’ve captured the 24-hour event, always humbled by the those in attendance. The dedication becomes more noticeable each year. I am often rendered speechless and holding back tears as I hold up my camera and seek out these moments. The dancing is one of my favorite parts, as you can see above.

Losing those we love is never an easy feat, but coming together with people who share in your grief and share in moments of celebration for their life is the real deal. When the opening ceremony begins, and everyone lines up to support the cancer survivors (all those wearing purple shirts), I hold back tears when I see the mom with her kids and husband, the baby, the old couple hand in hand, stand together to walk that first lap side by side. I get chills just remembering it. Then again, at the final ceremony of the first day, when a piper comes out to play and take a lap – everyone follows and everyone is silent. I cry here as the screen flashes with beautiful faces who are lovingly remembered. I’m reminded that this world is so much bigger than me and there is so much you can do with your time, your life, and that giving back is without a question, something everyone should do. I’m reminded that holding your loved ones closely is not to be taken for granted.

Relay for Life of Tacoma 2013, 2014, 2015

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