Welcome to Northwest Photographic Arts. This is my 42nd year as a professional photographer, and yet this is my very first blog. I will start my blogs by sharing inside stories behind the images that are featured on my website. It is my hope that as you participate in these blogs, you will pick up insights that will help you become that photographer you were destined to be.


God Bless you,


Chad Stevens


Farewell Jim Hatfield . . . Good Friend, Teacher and Grand Encourager

July 13, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

My career was launched the year I took a high school photography class from a magnificent teacher, mentor and friend, Mr. James Hatfield. He genuinely cared for his students and majored in encouraging them personally. I cannot think of anyone who deserves more credit for my vocational choice. He was my favorite high school teacher, and I am not alone in saying so. 

I only learned of his passing this afternoon and my heart is deeply grieved over his departure. In honor of his memory, I am posting some of the key points of his obituary. 

Dec. 1, 1939 - Sept. 10, 2013
Resident of Santa Cruz
James Darwin Hatfield, a beloved high-school math and photography teacher, led a rich and active life. Born in Ellendale, ND, he moved with his mother to California when he was 15 years old. He graduated from San Jose State University where he met his wife of 51 years, Kathy. Jim's true passion was photography.

While he was teaching, he made time for trips to Central and South America as the photographer for a group of doctors doing volunteer surgeries, as well as chaperoning groups of students to Europe on photography expeditions. He was also a prolific wedding, school, and youth sports photographer. While at home, he spent time making home brew, keeping bees, and researching his family genealogy. He had a great love of cats, particularly Sam, whom he called 'my buddy'.

Jim really hit his stride when he retired and began to travel for his own pleasure and understanding of other cultures. In the last 14 years, he made multiple trips to Europe, Asia, South America, and Cuba, taking pictures and sampling local beers along the way. In addition, he made 15 trips to Baja on the Green Tortoise, and seven times he dyed his hair pink for a week in order to fully experience the revelry of Burning Man. In Baja and Black Rock City he was known as 'Diego'. He and his wife traveled to Argentina, Peru, and Oaxaca to experience month-long Spanish immersion programs, and to Guatemala to help build houses for Habitat for Humanity.

He was a loving father of three and grandfather of three. He died peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by his family, in the home that he built in Santa Cruz more than 40 years ago. 

He is survived by his wife Kathy; his son John (Lisa); daughters Sarah Hatfield-Smith (Al) and Amy Hatfield; and grandchildren Austin and Emma Smith, and Yunji Hatfield. He is also survived by his sisters Darlene Eaton and Peggy Petersen; half-sister Nancy Lynn Gipson; his Aunt Betty Haberman, and several cousins in North Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska.
Jim was 73 years old.

I love you, Jim!  Thank You!


Jake's Story

April 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment


By Jake & Chad ~ 2010

Wallace, ID


A family friend referred Jakes mother to my studio in Wallace, Idaho. She wanted to see if I could capture the shy but friendly spirit of her teenage son.


Jake came to the session late in the afternoon when the sun was within thirty minutes of the sunset over the Silver Valley mountains.


We hopped in the car and went to the neighboring town of Silverton where the light was soft and warm and where rugged backgrounds would work well for a male high school senior.


None of the backgrounds seemed to work with the personality of the young man standing before me until I spotted a nearly condemned shack surrounded by an old chain link fence.


The sun slid behind the mountains, but there was a beautiful evening afterglow that gave Jake a warm evening skin tone and a glistening sparkle in his eyes.


His mother was thrilled and placed a large order for all her friends and family.

Olivia's Story

April 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Hayden LakeHayden Lake


By Olivia & Chad ~ 2012


Olivia’s Portrait was created in my studio one evening after our music classes were completed. She, her sister and mother came for a family portrait.


I suggested to Olivia’s mother that while her lovely girls were all dressed up for their family session we could also take individuals of them as well.


Olivia has an inner peace about her, and

I wanted to capture this for her family

to enjoy. After a few different poses,

I had her rest on one of our piano

benches, and this is the portrait

you see before you.


While I was retouching her image, I decided it needed to look dreamy and painterly. In PhotoShop I have been able to develop a few programs for portraits and scenic images that give an Impressionistic look to photographs.


Not all portraits look good

in an impressivistic style, so

        not everyone  will be able to have this

      technique applied to their portrait, but 

               Olivia’s Portrait has what it takes.


{ If you enjoy this style of photography, let’s test it on your portraits. }

Engaged Couple's Story

April 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

1 - 16x20 Milk Chocolate1 - 16x20 Milk Chocolate


By Chad ~ 2004


In the olden days, (which were my younger days) I used to have

the stamina to chase a wedding couple around a church for six to eight hours on a Saturday afternoon.


My wedding packages always included a free engagement session just

before the big day.


I discovered that most couples keep their wedding day Portraits in an album, but when they get an engagement portrait they hang it on their walls for

friends and family to enjoy.


This couple came into my studio for their free portrait session.


We shot it in color, but they wanted something different and unique.


I suggested that a Black and White Portrait would be delicious if we

added a little brown to the mix.


So after I finished retouching their

faces and the background,

I added a “Milk Chocolate”

 flavor to their portrait,

       and voila!

Alberta, Canada Story

April 19, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Glacier, CanadaGlacier, Canada


By GOD & Chad  ~ 2016


While traveling from Banff, we drove our RV through some extremely tumultuous weather.


We experienced lightning,

torrents of rain and hail.


Suddenly I saw a thick band of dark black clouds hovering over the glaciers

in front of us.


“I’m stopping for this one, guys!”

 I shouted to my family!

 “This is what I have been waiting

for on our trip.”


 I’ve always wanted a dramatic

Image of this magnitude,

 and I have always wanted to

create a large print of what I was

seeing for others to enjoy.


I got out of the RV and set up my tripod.


I watched and waited as the brisk changes in cloud formations occurred with the ever changing gusts of wind.


Suddenly I saw the feathering of the clouds with a gleam of light

illuminating the glacier.


I exposed only a few images.

The drama of the moment changed

with each passing second.


Without an extraordinary scene,

it does not matter if you have the most expensive camera or the best photographic skills.


You have to be there at just the right moment to capture the glory of God’s marvelous creation.

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