A big break. Good fortune. Meant to be. I'm not sure which one of these best represents the email that changed my professional career but on February 15th, 2017, I received the following email:
"As we are are in process of renovating a beautiful historic building in Tacoma as our warehouse and retail boutique, there is conversation about creating opportunities to photograph our progress as TREE establishes itself in the US. We want to tell a story in imagery that captures our beginnings. We have a beautiful location, unique pieces on-site that we would like to have photographed, as well as create content for our website. We will also have on-going events and are looking to establish a relationship with a local photographer who will brilliantly "see" the magic moments and partner with us on our journey. I have truly enjoyed watching you work and have been impressed with your product. Could you please send us a list of pricing as well as well your availability?"
I replied with the following, trying to keep it businesslike, even though I wanted to use 100 exclamation points, all-caps on every word and every happy emoji possible.
"First of all, the Hong Kong website is BEAUTIFUL! What amazing pieces of furniture with a wonderful story. I especially loved reading more about how you left the corporate world to pursue your passion! Congratulations on the renovation in Tacoma. I would absolutely love to be your go-to photographer. -Kristina"
Before I take you through one of the happiest moments in my life, let me explain a little about who TREE is and what they do. TREE creates eco-friendly furniture with heart. Their items are artisan crafted from eco materials or carefully preserved antiques that are created with the utmost consciousness about what materials they use and where they source from. (Something I deeply appreciate.)
The first moment of walking into the Tacoma location is tattooed into my memory. The grandness of the building, the warmness of everyone I met, and the stunning natural light which wrapped around everyone like an amazing Lightroom preset, left me speechless. I felt like I had stepped into my dream job and literally twirled with excitement. (I actually did take a self-timer shot because of how stoked I was for this opportunity) It was and still is surreal that I get to be part of the TREE team.
The photos, in the beginning, were like watching a flower bloom. I saw each stage of the process to reveal what this incredible space is today. The renovations, the heavy machinery certifications, the garden center and nursery trips, the inventory deliveries, the adding of electrical and lighting and so on. It has been awe-inspiring each time I arrived to take photographs and now I'm so thrilled to announce they are open for business seven days a week from 10am-6pm. Hello, best holiday presents EVER! From home shopping to designing commercial spaces, they have classically timeless and environmentally conscious treasures in every corner waiting for you to discover.
One of my favorite attributes of TREE is their dedication to giving back. Through their work with Trees4Trees, they have planted over 70,000 trees to date and have plans to keep that number climbing. This is a company with a big heart and they want you to follow yours, too. Signs all around the building say, "Follow your heart to TREE" which I have witnessed keeps patrons flowing in the door! What a sweet reminder to stay true to you.
To say I love working for TREE is an understatement; it's an opportunity I feel I have been working towards since I picked up my camera at art school and I'm thrilled to share with you some of my favorite moments I've captured. Please check out their website and Instagram to see all of my work & and their heart-centered product.
Thank you to Nicole and the entire TREE team for embracing me and providing space for this hybrid palm tree/cedar tree to flourish ;). I'm definitely planted in the right soil with you all and I can't wait to see where this grows.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOURS!!