Catherine Abegg » wedding & portrait photographer from seattle, wa... specializing in lifestyle, travel, and film photography.

madeline’s senior photos // by jonathan canlas // laie, hawaii

So this is a first! All the photos in this post were not taken by me! But instead by our dear friend Jonathan Canlas, who at one time swore off ever doing senior photos, but made an exception for us when we visited him on Oahu last April. Thanks, Jon!

So this wraps up our celebration of grad week on the blog… because Madeline is graduating tonight!!!


These photos of Madeline are so special to me, because they are of her in her most beloved environment: the water. My dream for Madeline has always been that she leaves Seattle, travels more, and finds somewhere closer to the ocean, because I know that’s where she’s happiest. I’m not sure if/when/how that will happen, but I’ve had to let go of the desire to try & plan that for her. It was my job to raise her, but it’s not my job any longer to plan for her what I think she should do. She’s on her own for that, but I hope hope hope that one day she finds it in herself to make a plan to pursue the mermaid life that she’s always dreamed of… and with camera in hand too!

However I will say, that the very best thing about Madeline is that she is content wherever she is. She finds happiness in simplicity, and we really have raised a city girl. We’ve pushed for Mads to get her driver’s license, but she loves to walk everywhere (like her mama!), and she loves to take public transit… so who are we to force her to do something that will inevitably take those simple things away from her? Again–again & again & again–I realize that what we want for her is not necessarily what she wants for her. We like to think that we always know what’s best, but I have a strong feeling that Mads knows what’s best… we just get to sit back & let her figure it out.

What comes next for our Mads is pursuing an education in photography. She’s been accepted into the Creative Academy at Seattle Central, but is on their extensive waiting list; so in the meantime, she’s planning on getting her pre-reqs out of the way at Seattle Central, while also taking classes at Photographic Center Northwest. Madeline is a naturally talented photographer, but our hope for her, in photography, is to be able to find her voice… and we’re hoping that an education at PCNW will allow for that. I also know that she will be pursuing her dream of working as a barista. Since she was about twelve years old, she’s wanted to work as a barista, because she says, “I love coffee, and they always get to meet interesting people.” I love her for that.

Congratulations on everything, my Madeline! Someone said to me last night, “You have the weirdest life!” And I agreed. But I feel so beyond blessed to have gone through this weird life with you, in all of your wisdom, zen, happiness, laughter, and beauty. I love you, and am so proud of you.

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  • June 13, 2015 - 6:50 am

    Mel Cole - I absolutely loved watching you raise Madeline these last few years through family photos. You did a beautiful job Catherine, and such an inspiring mother you are. Your family seems so full of love & light, I find that to be the most important part of living. I like to use the word “special” instead of “weird” and I find yalls family life to be so deeply special.
    These portraits are so gorgeous, Jon did a wonderful job.ReplyCancel

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