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Portland professional photography | Visiting Seattle, and choosing your moment

Over the weekend, I was in Seattle to lend a hand with some wedding photography, and I thought it’d be fun to take a bit of extra time to hang out and see a few sights. I didn’t have a ton of time, but I did get to visit Gasworks Park on Monday morning, and we also hit up Volunteer Park–the conservatory was closed, unfortunately–which was right by the cemetery where Bruce Lee is buried. After spending more than 7 years of my life dedicated to practicing Wushu, Bruce Lee is especially legendary for me, so I had to take a moment and pay homage to him.

We walked through the cemetery until we found the location of his headstone, and while I waited for a few other folks in front of us to take their turn, I thought about how I wanted to document the occasion. As a dedicated martial artist, a moment like this was a pretty huge deal, and since I already had my camera out for shooting at the parks we’d been to, taking a photo seemed to make perfect sense, but something about it was unsettling for me.

Then, I saw the guy ahead of me ask his friend to take a photo of him while he posed next to the grave site, and I realized: I don’t want to be that guy. I’d done photoshoots near cemeteries once or twice before, at the request of portrait clients, and the sense of age and history has always been interesting to me. But, the idea of posing with or even just taking a photo of a specific grave didn’t feel like the right way to pay my respects to anyone, much less somebody who’d had such a massive impact on the martial arts community.

When my turn came around, I went up to the headstone, and silently took everything in. We marveled at how young Bruce and Brandon Lee had both been when they died, but after a couple minutes of mostly-wordless observance, we simply moved on and left in search of other sights. So, yeah. It was a momentous occasion for me, and the picture in my mind is enough to be worth remembering. Sometimes, you have to choose your moment, and I chose to hold that one with brain matter instead of pixels.

Instead, here are a couple of photos from other spots. It wasn’t the absolute best time of day for landscape-y photos, but Gasworks Park is definitely a photographer’s wet dream:

And, seriously? This HAS to be a TIE Fighter. Am I right? 😉

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