Tracie Howe Photography – Seattle Wedding Photographer | Seattle elopement photographer | Destination wedding and elopement photographer | Pacific Northwest wedding and elopement photographer | Family and lifestyle photographer | Travel photographer based in Seattle. » Seattle destination wedding and travel photographer. Specializing in documentary and candid photography for adventurous souls wanting a destination wedding or elopement. I love working with mountain-climbing, sea-loving, travel-wanderlusting free-spirits, and I hope you will contact me for your next adventure!

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International Spy self-portrait


This month’s self-portrait theme was suggested by my loyal friend and follower, MaLora Ann. She is very creative and came up with a few ideas, but I decided to go with her first suggestion, “International Spy”! It sounded fun and not too difficult costume-wise.

Every time I thought about how to pull this off and during the actual shoot, the James Bond theme song kept popping into my head. “Sunglasses at Night” might have been even more appropriate, but for me, when a song is already there, it’s usually stuck for awhile.

Anyway, I first started thinking about clothes and backgrounds. I knew my step-mom, Teresa, had the type of coat I wanted (even though you can’t really see much of it), and she was kind enough to let me borrow it. I scoured thrift stores for a hat that would make me look a little more exotic. Nothing says “international” like a beret I guess!

The background was tougher, because I wanted something to suggest that I was being secretive and mysterious. I considered a brick wall, but I didn’t want to be outside at night, in the cold, by myself . I decided to backlight a little room divider I have to make it look kind of vague and mysterious. I would have preferred a brick wall, so maybe I’ll attempt this again when it’s warmer outside. Suggesting that it was night time, was easy enough. I turned off the room lights and set my flash pretty low for a soft side lighting. I suppose that wearing sunglasses is not the best way to suggest a night scene, but maybe I’m just not a very convincing spy.

It took some time to get everything set up right. Not only did I have to arrange the background, lighting, and costume to my liking, but I had to position myself just so. That was the hardest part by far! There were only a few gestures I could think of that would suggest “international spy”.  I kept running back and forth between where I was posing and the camera to check. It’s hard to direct yourself when you can’t see what you’re doing or how the light is falling on you!

Anyway, it was a good experience and I came out with some fun shots. My favorite photo is the one above, which I will use for about a month in my different profiles. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the first post on this subject: . And please submit your ideas for next month’s theme! 🙂

Here are a few of the runners up:


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  • February 7, 2011 - 6:32 pm

    Julie Smerecky - Great website TracieReplyCancel

  • February 15, 2011 - 8:34 am

    Doug - Suggestion for next self-portrait: Tropical vacation – umbrella-drinks, palm trees, swimming pool, sunglasses, snorkel mask, etcReplyCancel

    • February 15, 2011 - 9:39 am

      traciehowe - Doug, that sounds lovely… now if I could only get a pool and some palm trees! I am traveling to Arizona later next month, so maybe I could whip something up there for the following self-portrait. Thanks! 🙂ReplyCancel

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