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Monday
Apr272015

Eight tips from a do-it-yourself-bride (Clackamas wedding photographer)

Are you a DIY bride? Craft Warehouse in Gresham is hosting its first-ever DIY by Design “I Do” event on Friday, May 8, 2015 from 5 to 9 p.m. Come and learn how to make your own invitations, tablescapes, jewelry for you and your bridesmaids, paper flowers and much more. There will also be free demos and giveaways. Craft Warehouse is located in Gresham Station at 687 N.W. 12th Street. If you haven’t visited their shop before, it’s a very inspiring place! I was so honored when they asked me to have a table, so stop by and say hi! For more information, call the shop at 503-907-3137.

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Amanda and I were born two months apart, and our parents became friends when we were still infants. She is my oldest friend. I have great memories of driving to her house in Damascus and playing board games, doing crafts, listening to NKOTB, climbing trees and telling stories. Our time was so full and happy that even when I was older, I still always fell asleep on the car ride home. 

That’s why it was beyond meaningful to me to photograph her beautiful wedding to Jake in the backyard of her childhood home. 

Amanda, whose love of craft projects as a child grew into a full-blown passion as an adult, is a gifted artist who can make just about anything. 

With the help of her family and friends, Amanda hand-crafted just about all the little details that made her day special — invitations, decor, jewelry, signage, bouquets, her veil, etc. Other than the wedding attire, everything was handmade. 

“I know that professionals know what they’re doing, but I just like doing it on my own,” she said. “It gives me a sense of accomplishment.”

To plan her do-it-yourself wedding, Amanda said she started by thinking about what she wanted — an antique/country wedding — and chose sage, lavender and wheat as both a color palette and a recurring theme.

“I really had fun making the jewelry for everyone because it was something they could take with them, and I could make exactly what I wanted with the exact colors I wanted,” she said.

As the wedding day got closer, Amanda said she wondered if she was going to have enough decorations once they were all spread out in the space, but once she saw it all together, she was happy with the outcome. 

“I thought, ‘This really does look pretty darn good.’” 

 So here are eight tips from a lovely do-it-yourself bride who’s been there:

  •  Think about timing: Make sure you have plenty of time before you start projects. Remember it could take a lot longer than you think, especially if it’s not something you’ve tried before. “It’s easy to get carried away because it’s fun.”
  •  Make a list of projects early on: With a  complete list in hand, if anyone asks if they can help, you’ll know exactly what you need. You’ll also be able to prioritize and make sure the time-sensitive projects (invitations!) meet their deadlines. 
  • Solicit your friends: People are so willing to help if you give them a job and make it fun. Amanda said sitting on the porch with loved ones making centerpieces was one of the best experiences of wedding planning.
  • Don’t micro-manage: If you have loved ones who are willing to help you, just give them clear instructions and then try not to be critical if there’s a little extra glue or if the ribbon isn’t perfectly straight. These projects are an act of love. 
  • Break projects into smaller pieces in case disaster strikes: That way, if you mess something up or a detail changes, you can just fix one part of the project instead of starting from scratch. For example, Amanda and Jake had to change the venue partway through their planning, so they had to redo the invitations. Luckily, they had made them with three separate parts (card stock, vellum and ribbon) so they were able to just change the vellum printed part.
  • Be realistic about costs. Some projects will cost more than you think, especially if you don’t already own the right equipment. 
  • Give yourself a deadline of at least a few days before the wedding: You don’t want to be up until 2 in the morning the night before your wedding gluing burlap to vases. If it didn’t get it done in the weeks ahead, just let it go. 
  • Enjoy your day: “If you’re going to do everything yourself, then on day of the wedding you’re done. Just enjoy your day and let everyone else take care of the details.”

 

Wednesday
Apr082015

Kids go wild on cover of Metro Parent (Portland children's photographer)

Since high school, I always wanted to work for a magazine. It was even my major in college. I think I always envisioned it would be a very glamorous and action-packed job. I came pretty close by working in newspapers for the past decade, and while I've had my name and photos in print many times, I have always had a special place in my heart for newsstand glossies. I tell you this so you'll understand what a dream come true it is for me to have my very first magazine cover! 

I'm so thankful for the kind and creative staff at Metro Parent magazine for seeking me out for this fun collaboration. Their staff is lovely to work with, and I'm thrilled to have my name attached to such a fantastic publication. Metro Parent is colorful and full of great information about local events, people and trends. You can pick it up for free at libraries, doctors offices and other places that families tend to congregate. (Wondering where you can pick up a copy? Visit www.metro-parent.com/find-magazine/)

The article is about Portland's natural playgrounds that are popping up all over town. I went out to Westmoreland Park in Southeast Portland with my kids, niece and nephew on one of those shockingly warm and sunny days in February and got some fun images of them scampering up logs and climbing rock formations. Here's a few of the other photos from that beautiful day: 

Thank you Julia, Ali, Susan and the rest of the Metro Parent team for making my magazine cover dream come true! 

Sunday
Sep142014

My kid is totally rad (Portland styled child photographer)

My daughter is a great muse. She's sassy, energetic, sweet, funny and very dramatic.

Whenever I pull out my camera, she snaps her little body into a fresh set of angular poses. I have no idea where she got these funky moves, but they are pretty fabulous. 

One day at home, she pulled on my old-school, over-the-ear headphones and started bopping around like crazy. They weren't even plugged in, but the two of us were giggling and dancing around in a moment of sheer joy. Days later, I found myself smiling every time I saw that image of her in my head. That day inspired me to create a photo shoot that represented who she is at this moment — so full of movement, laughter and joy. I wanted to incorporate bright colors to match her personality, and it struck me that what we needed was neon.

We found the perfect ’80s-inspired outfit during our first grown-up shopping trip together. Later, I bought a boom box at a garage sale for $1 and borrowed the crimping iron from my sister (the very same one we’ve used to crinkle our hair for special occasions since 1985). My plan all came together when I remembered that graffiti wall I'd shot a senior session at a few years before.

This photo session is a celebration of this wonderful little person in my life. She started kindergarten this week and I feel like life is moving really fast. Sometimes I wish I could write down every funny thing she says, photograph every goofy smile and memorize the way she makes me feel. The best I can do is live in the moment and take photos that help me remember her this way. 

I’m bursting with ideas for more themed or styled photo sessions for kids, couples and teens, so drop me a line and we can capture the essence of your little loves. 


Monday
Jun092014

Putting a bird, and a ring, on it (Portland elopement photographer)

Ballgowns and ballrooms just weren’t in the plan for Tanis and Michael. When the adorable, longtime couple decided to tie the knot after 14 years together, they wanted a day that reflected their personalities. The North Vancouver, B.C. natives both love Portland and “Portlandia,” the show that skewers all the unique/hipster/silly and nontraditional aspects our town, and incidentally the elopement they planned could have made for an episode of the show.

After a few days of enjoying our food carts and sights, the couple got married in a quirky ceremony inside Portland’s most famous pastry haven, Voodoo Donuts. With a line full of customers as witnesses, the couple exchanged rings amid Cap n’ Crunch-topped crullers, a painting of Shaft and a man in a hot-pink gorilla suit. A circle of rainbow-colored sprinkles around them sealed the union. A heart-shaped donut the size of a human head served as their wedding cake. (The donut had "Put a bird on it" in icing after "Portlandia's most iconic catch phrase!)

After they exchanged vows, we headed back to the Ace Hotel, where they were staying. The hotel is beautiful and full of eclectic touches, like a photobooth and cruiser bikes in the lobby, and an eight-foot-tall mural of a handsome cat in their room.

Spending the day with them and taking their photographs was such a joy. Tanis and Michael are very loving and kind to each other and definitely one of the most easy-going couples I’ve ever met. Their day was a perfect reflection of the spirited and adventurous life they’ve built together. Tanis and Michael, here’s wishing you MANY more years of happiness and fun!

P.S. The Boston Creme donut I had later that night was fantastic.

If you'd like to see more photos from this fun destination elopement, check out their slideshow below, and email me here if you're interested in wedding or elopement photography that fits your personality and style.  

 

Thursday
Feb272014

All you have to do is dream (Milwaukie children's photographer)

The internet is magic.

You can have whatever you want delivered to your doorstep. You can know the answer to a burning question in an instant. You can get to know people who live on the other side of the world.

Basically, you can make awesome things happen, and do so with ease.

One day, an idea popped into my head: Wouldn’t it be cool to do a photo shoot in the old-fashioned soda shop in downtown Milwaukie? (If you read this blog regularly, you know I have a love for anything 1950s-themed. Here's a link to a vintage-themed couple's session I photographed a while back.)  I posted my idea onto my Facebook page, and minutes later Kayla wrote back and said she’d love to hire me to take photos of her children there. Within no time, we were brainstorming retro-inspired outfits for her two adorable kids, choosing a color scheme and meeting for coffee to hash out the rest of the details.

Kayla brought a lot of creativity and beautiful details to the photo shoot. She bought her daughter a perfect, vintage-style dress on Etsy, rounded up her mother’s antique cake plates that matched the era, and brought color-coordinating accessories to tie it all together.

The kids were so good during our shoot. There was a lot giggling and fun that morning — I’m sure the cookies and ice cream sundae helped!  

Thanks so much to Chris from Main Street Collectors Mall and Soda Fountain for letting us take over her fantastic shop for the morning. In addition to the historic soda fountain, you should stop in to check out the vast collection of antiques, toys and collectibles. There’s a ton to see, and you’ll also get a taste of history — John F. Kennedy made a campaign stop at the soda shop when he toured Portland in 1960.

How do I know? I looked it up on the Internet.

 

If you're interested in a photo session that reflects your style and personality, send me an email!