CJ Wilkes

About CJ Wilkes Photography

Capturing Your Dance In The Rain is such a thrill and joy to me. Being able to look back on those special times through beautiful artistic imagery makes it a worthwhile challenge.
Learning to Dance in the Rain has been very easy for me. I am drawn to Water & Life! The exciting part for me is to teach you to enjoy your moment in the dance as I capture it from behind my camera.
Looking forward to Capturing Your Dance In The Rain
CJ Wilkes

Archive: ‘H.S. Seniors – Graduating’

Marya ~ Highschool Senior Photo Session

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

It has been such a long long time since I have posted any updates. I hope to get here and add all the work I have been doing. What a better way to start than by giving a sneak peak to the very latest shoot!? On top of that we have a video to share of the shoot courtesy of her Aunt Josephine. Huge Thank you!   This session was done on a Quinault Nation Beach. We were able to do it here since Marya’s father is Quinault and was there with us the entire time. Marya’s family is one of the sweetest families ever. It was such a pleasure being with them and taking Marya’s pictures. So here is the video and I will add just a few images that are ready to be shared. Enjoy!


There were Star fish EVERYWHERE! It was wild and fun and Marya looked like a mermaid – so beautiful!

We had fog, we had wind, we had water – so much fun!!!

Every there to love about this session. Perfect moments and a great model! I’ll have more to share with you shortly.  You did not think this was really it did you? Of coarse not! More outfits and wonderful shots to come – this is just the beginning!

Invites, Postcards, Announcements… and more

Friday, February 1st, 2013

We have options, options, and more options. The options are limitless. Christmas cards, Wedding announcements, Postcards, we even make bookmarks that are a hit at Valentine’s!  Here are just a few for you to look at. I will bring more to you in the near future. Although great to look at, it does not even compare to seeing and feeling them in person. Everyone that has examined these are wowed. Your images truly shine and are complimented perfectly in these printing formats. When you choose a card I will custom design the card for you. We discuss and I give you the option to switch it up or keep it as is. The goal is to make you happy with what you are getting.

I have to say that that Christmas card was one of my favorites. Not only are the kids cute – but the template works perfect for families or children. It is a definite favorite!

I have to say that my 4×9 wedding announcements have had the best feedback! Everyone of my couples have had the greatest response to how amazing these look! Each time I have opened up a new set for examination I just ooo and aaaa myself. What else is cool is that they fit perfectly in a legal size envelope. These cards make sending announcements quite affordable.

The colors are brilliant. There are other sizes and uses for the post card style. You can use them as High School Senior announcements or advertising.

I have also made calendars from these to hand out examples of my own work, made bookmarks for my children, I cannot say enough great things about these.

I am a perfectionist and I have to have my colors just right! I have to have my quality just right – after all, these represent myself as an artist. If you would like a sample of this sent to you feel free to contact us requesting an announcement sample with your address and I will mail it out to you.

Wakeena Redsky DeLaCruz ~ Native American High School Graduate

Friday, January 25th, 2013

I have had the honor and privilege of photographing this beautiful young woman in her cultural regalia for her high school senior portraits. To tell you about her I have asked her mother Kamimi Ogemahgeshig-Estavillo to write in her words their heritage and about the clothing in this photo shoot. Here are her words about her daughter Wakeena and Wakeena’s heritage:

“Wakeena Redsky DeLaCruz is Quinault and Squaxin from the Northwest coastal nations and Anishinabe from the Eastern woodlands region. Wakeena has participated in canoe journeys since a young girl on the canoe Haynisisoos, which was named after her Uncle Phillip Martin Sr. She skippered this canoe (pictured) for the first time on the last canoe journey to Squaxin Island. Wakeena’s regalia is representative of her coastal and Anishinaabe ancestry. The cape design consists of a winged Eagle (zaagi) which is her Anishinaabe family clan (dodem). The buttons on the robe are representative of Anishinaabe fire signs, the buttons on the tail wing represent the council of three fires, the buttons along the body represent seventh generation and the four in the heart of the Eagle represent balance consistent with the four directions. Wakeena actively participates in her coastal nations traditions through drum and dance group, and is now in preparation to start jingle dance from Anishinaabe which will also be shown in her senior pictures. These photos taken are consistent with who Wakeena is and the traditional values she has carried and exemplified through her life. Participating in canoe journeys, drum and dance, potlatch, and jingle dance are very important aspects of her life and these photos represent who she is as a young Native American woman.”

This particular photoshoot is a series of three or four different shoots I will be bringing to you. As mentioned Wakeena is now in preparation to start jingle dance from Anishinaabe. Her grandmother is currently working on her jingle dress. We have some other shoots in the works to bring that to you and a few other very special images as well.
These photo sessions are dear to my heart and that of my family because of my husband and our children being Northwest Coastal Natives as well. The regalia with the button blanket is something that we are very familiar with ~ something we hold dear to our hearts. The art is a part of our home too which you will see represented on the canoe. There is symbolism and legends to the art you see on the blankets, canoes, totems, long houses. As you can see from Kamimi’s words, even the buttons have meaning.  My husband often includes the legend to the art that he draws (which can be found at WilkeronArt.com). Culture is a huge part of our life, so bringing this to you is more that just a thrill of a life time, it is a sacred honor. Thank you Wakeena and Kamimi. Thank you to all those that also helped in putting this shoot together.

I will start out with the unloading of the canoe and the owner Phil Martin Sr. with his wife Lynnell Martin.

There were others there helping. I wish I had more images with everyone in it so you all have your proper thanks. My gratitude is with all of you!

We were at the Point Grenville beach (which is currently in the process of being renamed to a native name that holds significance to the Quinault tribe). This next image pictures Point Grenville behind Wakeena.

The button blanket in the images above is Wakeena’s. The button blanket below in the next few images is that of her sister, Tashia Sky Delacruz.

Here you can see Wakeena wearing a traditional Northwest Coast hand woven hat. The next image was done so that you can see the design of the front of the canoe as well. I love the look of the canoes from all the different tribes. Often you will see a similar piece on many canoes. It sometimes goes along with the name of the canoe, or the crest of the clan, or just a legend that speaks to the canoe maker or family. I felt the angle here not only showed it while capturing Wakeena very flatteringly, but it also gave you a better view of the different paddles. Some useful and others for design as you can see with the artwork.

Of coarse ~ I love to play with different lenses. My fisheye gives such a fun view on life and worked wonders here. The first image here is awesome because it has some of my equipment and Wakeena’s mother with 2 sisters. I see this and just love that we caught this moment. (I am weird that way – where I love the back behind the scenes shots hahaha.)

In this next image Tashia (Wakeena’s sister) if straitening the heirloom necklace for the following shot. At that moment her mother Kamimi told me that the necklace there is close to 150 years old or older and had been in their family this entire time.

The colors of the sky and the beach are ever changing. Wakeena out on the beach near sunset was no less than breathtakingly stunning. She was such a trooper and it has all paid off beautifully.

I am looking forward to the next few sets from our series to be brought to all of you! Please feel free to leave love on the blog.

Thank you again to all involved. This is not just one moment in time. This is historical. Looking forward to the years events that are coming up and am grateful that all of you have touched my life.

Kaitlyn Martin ~ Singer/Songwriter ~ High School Senior

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

This uber talented girl was such a great sport! Let me first tell you about her. She is a singer/songwriter. She has a song already recorded and available to purchase with a video as well on youtube.  The song is “Hey You”.  Here is the link to the video .  If you decide you want to purchase the song you can do so here at iTunes .  She has a fan page on facebook for those of you who would like to follow her progress.  You can visit her Facebook Page HERE .

Kaitlyn graduated from High School this year.  She is the winner of Terrace Idol 2012.  She performs all over Seattle including at events such as The Police Explorer’s Talent Show, Art festivals, and Farmer markets ~ Drawing some of the largest crowds the events managers have seen in the years they have held their events.

Being Kaitlyn’s photographer has been so fun for me, not only because of the shoot – but my children have become a HUGE fan of hers, telling me that she is their new favorite music artist, that Selina Gomez is now their number 2 LOL. It is very “COOL” for them to meet and know a recorded musician. Not only that – Kaitlyn’s parents are some amazing people!  Active with all of their 4 children – spending time with them doing family adventures. They are genuinely good people who I enjoy knowing.

So for our Photoshoot we hit 2 main locations. The first being Seattle. There is a specific alley that I love for its character. Then we went on to Fort Casey on Widbey Island. It is also another favorite place for me to shoot. I love the versatility of the park. From barracks to beaches to light houses. The place offers to much – and again the personality. Simply could not have asked for a better location.  On the way to Fort Casey we also made a super quick stop to a mini field that most people do not know about. It is a place I had stumbled across with my own family. Usually containing tall grasses for fun shoots, this time it sported a field of purple thistles. It was a perfect match for the outfit she had chosen, unbeknownst to us.  So here is her photo session(s).

Kaitlyn Martin ~ Definitely a name you do not want to forget. Check out her work. This girl can’t help but make you smile, from her images to her music!  Thanks so much Kaitlyn for spending the day with me. It was a full day but as everyone can see – a very successful shoot! Looking forward to hearing more of your amazing songs too!

High School Senior ~ Simon

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

When doing a High School Senior Session, my goal is to catch not just some amazing images but really capture the student’s personality, talents, likes.  I think you can really feel what an awesome person Simon is in this session.  It was a pleasure so Thank you for the opportunity Simon to be your High School Senior photographer!

One of his hobbies is canoeing!  How cool is that?  So early in the AM we headed down to the beach.  Of coarse I was game!!! – it’s WATER!  So glad we went too.  The beach was gorgeous in the early morning light.

Simon has the most awesome eyes and beautiful red hair.  I just had to have some pictures of him with a sea green shirt.


I have to laugh every time I see this image.  We were on the way back toward the house when I spotted a ton of ivy!  It was gorgeous.  So I asked Simon to go stand near the stump.  When we went over and noticed there was a hole in the stump.  He had mentioned there could be racoons in there.  I had not seen anything like it – it was just so cool, so I am glad we stopped.

One of Simon’s great loves is gardening and cooking directly from his own garden.  He has his own green house so of coarse I had to have him show it all to me :)


He had cabbage and tomatoes.  His garden was GORGEOUS and the food from it too!

In the rock garden Simon got his guitar out and played a few tunes.  Seriously multi talented.   A young man who you can see why his mom is so proud.  She should be.  Respectful and has a good head on his shoulders.

Simon has a sweet ride that he is or has just sold.  We were so glad to get him with his baby before he let it go.

What a neat kid with so much to offer the world!  Best wishes this year – your Senior Year of High School Simon!!!


HS Senior Bookmark Special Update

Saturday, June 11th, 2011

There has been many requests to use the special for family or other children.  I am opening this special to Families, Children, Newborn.  It is a fabulous opportunity.  The only thing that will differ between your shoot and that of a HS senior is that it will be limited to 1 outfit (one you come in) and 1 location.

This special is being offered to couples as well.  Anniversary – Just for the KISS of it ;) – and Engagements!  They can be treated like the HS senior shoot where you have up to 3 locations to choose from and up to 2 outfit changes.


The summer is filling up very quickly so get booked now before there are no more slots.  If you are wanting to view a metal print we can schedule a time to meet and let you view the product.  The Metal prints will blow your mind away!!!

High School Seniors (BookMark Special!)

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Spring is here and soon to be Summer!  Many of you are preparing to watch your own children join the Senior Class of High School.  Although we don’t want to rush through the entire next year and savor every moment ~ reality is that once that last year begins, it flies so quickly.  This is a huge milestone in your child’s life, before they move on and start their own lives away from home.  Because of this huge event in life much emphasis is made on photos.   Photos for year books, for graduation announcements, and for keepsakes.  We try to make the process a pleasant one for you by starting early so that there is no last minute rush.  This year I am offering a bookmark special.

Included in this special are 4×6 individualized graduation post cards and a metal print ready to hang on your wall:




Bookmark special:

The front offers some ideas for displaying images of your Senior Graduate.

Call to check date availability and if I am in your area.  I will periodically post the area for a new shoot when I have my flights scheduled.


High School Senior Portraits

Monday, November 15th, 2010

This girl was fantastic.  She did not have the support of anyone.  On her own she set up a session and worked her hardest to pay for her own pictures.  I was very impressed with her devotion and hard work.  As a person she is AMAZING – then you put her behind the camera and it loved her as well.  Her eyes literally sparkled.  So captivating she made my job so very very easy for me!

So before any further ado here is Calvina:

If anything photography is a blessing to me because of the chance I get to meet such people as Calvina.  Thank you hun for the opportunity to work with you!

Family with a HS Senior

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Sometimes when when a client will book a session for their High School Senior they realize that it has been such a long time since they have had family pictures.  This is when we end up with 2 sessions in 1.  It can be a fun bittersweet moment for the family.  A great way to capture togetherness before their loved ones move on to college or the next step in their life.

E was a hard working girl anxious to get on with her life once school finished.  She was ambitious and serious.  She worked a nursing program in her studies and really had her life planned out for her.  It was exciting for me to work with a girl who knew exactly what she wanted and was looking forward to what she could do in the future and what the future could bring for her.

This mom raises her 3 beautiful girls on her own.  This moment in her life is a mile marker worth looking back on and cherishing forever!

The one thing you take with you forever is the memories.  Having them in print just help those memories last that much longer!

Senior Photography Shoots

Saturday, October 30th, 2010

Yearbook photos have been turned in – but there is still time for Senior Photography Shoots. Graduation Announcements need to be mailed out. I recommend having your announcements ready and mailed by Mid April. A Senior shoot can take anywhere from 1.5 – 4 hours depending on clothing changes and locations. Because of this it is best to have pictures taken in advance before the rush and last minute preparations including finals tests and applications for colleges. Now is the time to jump on it. The latest being end of of March, giving time for editing and ordering.

We have some fantastic packages available right now. These particular packages will be available to Graduating students of 2010-2011 school year until March 31, 2011.

Packages are themed packages Edward, Bella, and Jacob; starting at $210
(Yes! I love THEMES & love to read :))
All my package pricing include the session fee – In other words – there is not an additional fee for the session. For questions about prices and details about the packages contact me.

My 2011 year is already filling up quickly – Once my schedule is full it is full.

First image at the top is from Megan’s shoot.  She enjoys playing the guitar.

The other images was from a recent Senior Shoot for Kaitlyn.  She had several changes and we found some locations that suited not just the clothes but were locations that were special to her and her family.

The key to a fantastic photoshoot is to include hobbies, wardrobe, and locations that mean something to the person being photographed.  I am about emotion and capturing those key moments of time that not only look good but tug at the heartstrings as well.  That in my mind makes the shoot successful!  Something you would want to remember for all times.


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