Photographer John Pendleton is one who finds Whidbey and Camano Islands a great place to live and photograph, and an even better place for kids to play.
The Oak Harbor-based photographer specializes in weddings and portraits, but you might just find him at many of the island's events, both selling prized photos of people and places, and walking through the event looking for new and interesting people to photograph.
His portrait and wedding work often takes him to Ebey's Landing National Reserve. He likes to use the area's beaches and alfalfa fields as sets for his portraits.
Pendleton is also a family man who has first-hand experience in finding places that are "kid-friendly." "For example," he explains, "Cama Beach on Camano Island is a wonderful place that's got a wonderful beach."
The state park, Washington's newest, is the renovated reincarnation of the family getaway resorts that dotted Puget Sound more than 50 years ago. Because there are no cars nearby -the visitor parking lot is several hundred yards from the beach-Pendleton explains, that it's a place where, "you can let your kids run free."
On Whidbey Island, Pendleton recommends Deception Pass State Park. He notes there are a lot of things to do, plenty of facilities and, "a lot of (family) friendly hiking trails."
He adds that the area is also a great place with opportunities and challenges for photographers.
He says he once made the bridge a project "in terms of art." He says he spent about 38 days revisiting the bridge before seeing the exact relationship between the bridge, the land and fog that he was looking for. But when he saw it, it took only one shot.
"I nailed it, and I walked away from it," he says.
Find out more at http://www.whidbeycamanoislands.com