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Monday
Jan132014

The gift that keeps on giving (Portland, Oregon boudoir photographer)

A few years ago, my coworker asked me to take portraits of him so he could give them to his wife for Valentine’s Day. It was such a sweet and simple gesture. These weren’t provocative or glamorous images, but they absolutely captured his personality and charm. He printed a few out and bought a nice wood frame for his favorite. After 40 plus years of marriage, he had already bought her all the gifts he could think of, and came to the realization that the best gift he could give her was himself.

I think giving photos as gifts is a fantastic idea. It’s such a lovely keepsake to remember you by. The coolest thing is that a photo can freeze time, transporting the viewer back to that moment, helping him hold on to the feelings he had once upon a time. Photos are pretty magical that way. 

The boudoir photo sessions I’m offering next weekend are a tad more glamorous than the ones I took of my coworker, but the concept is the same. It’s a chance to give the person you love a gift that he can’t buy for himself, something that reminds him of you and the way he feels about you right now.   

And if you are in it for the long haul, you’ll always look back with wonder at how young and hot you were.

I have a few more openings available if you’re interested in booking your boudoir session!

 

Tuesday
Dec312013

One more time, with feeling (Milwaukie, Oregon portrait photographer)

I'm going to be honest with you; I had a tough year. My dad died in June, and it still hurts every day. We were very close, and it's been hard to get used to this new normal.

But there was a lot of joy this year too. My nephew was born, I witnessed a lot of firsts in my kids' lives and the people who rallied around me gave me so much comfort. My photography gave me incredible enjoyment too, even in the tough times. Through my business I got to meet new people, collaborate on some creative photo shoots and spend quality time with a whole bunch of adorable kiddos.

I want to wish a very heartfelt thank you everyone who supported me this year. Here's wishing you an abundance of health and happiness in 2014!

Just for fun, here's a few Instagram photos that sum up my year behind the lens: 

 How was your 2013? Leave me a comment and let me know! 

Saturday
Nov162013

The most wonderful thing about your wedding (Lake Oswego LDS temple wedding photographer)

The thing I’ll never forget about Jeri and Cody’s gorgeous wedding day was how they were surrounded by family and loved ones. Like, literally surrounded. There was a huge group of friends and family members cheering them on as they triumphantly exited the LDS temple in Lake Oswego after their sealing. Then, when we took a group picture of the whole gang in front of the picturesque reflection pool there, I had to switch lenses and have my handsome assistant help me wrangle them all together. Even though it was a big group, you could tell they are tight-knit. There was a lot of love there.

 

I think that’s one of the most wonderful things about your wedding day — the fact that it brings everyone you love together in one place.  

 

From her gorgeous bouquet and dress, to their fun wedding party, to their lovely reception, Jeri and Cody’s wedding was a perfect representation of the happy, sweet, loving and down-to-earth I've really enjoyed getting to know over the past few months. Jeri and Cody, I hope you have a lifetime of exotic travel, inside jokes, public displays of affection and endless joy!

 

I love photographing weddings and getting to know couples as in love as this amazing bride and groom. If you're interested in wedding photography in Portland, Oregon or the surrounding suburbs, contact me so we can talk about your day. 

 

Friday
Nov012013

Getting over regret, my first giveaway and the lovely Elizabeth (Rex Putnam High School senior photographer)

 

Last year about this time, I was photographing a client who needed headshots for her company’s website at a local park. The client was running a few minutes late and as I sat there waiting, I noticed a high school-aged girl whose parents were taking her pictures with a camera phone.

My Facebook homies know where I’m going with this.

I was intrigued. Not only was the girl really beautiful, she also appeared to be a dancer because she was perching herself on rocks while striking ballet-style poses. After a minute or two, I realized they were taking her senior photos for the yearbook.

I felt a strong urge to go over and offer to take her photos. I truly believe that everyone should have photos they can be proud of, especially for the yearbook. But I hesitated. I wondered if it would be insulting to the family if I walked up and offered my services, or if they would think I was being weird or salesy. Not only did I have my own client who would be coming along any moment, but scheduling that photo shoot was the first time I’d been away from my 3-week-old son, and I wasn’t sure I was emotionally ready to extend the amount of time I was away from him.

And that was it. My client showed up before I worked up the nerve to talk to the family.

I regretted it because I could have helped them out, but I didn’t.

A year passed, and one day I heard that yearbook photo deadlines were coming around again. I remembered that day, and was struck with a need to make up for that time that I should have, but didn’t.

So I did my very first giveaway, and I offered a complimentary senior session to a deserving student via my Facebook page. I was absolutely blown away at how positive and kind everyone was. I had a great response, and my choice was made pretty simple when three separate people nominated the same person.

That’s how I got to know Elizabeth.

Elizabeth is a super hardworking student who has really turned her life around. She went from getting in trouble at her old school in North Portland, to really excelling and taking honors classes at Rex Putnam High School in Milwaukie. She’s even set to graduate a year early. She works almost full time and has big plans for her future that could include going to beauty school.

We did her senior portrait session at the always-stunning Cathedral Park, which is right in her old neighborhood and is a meaningful place to her. She said she always loved the bridge and really wanted a photo of herself in front of it.

We had a great session and I learned that in addition to being hard-working, Elizabeth is also a very sweet and kind-hearted person with a killer smile. I really enjoyed getting to know her. Elizabeth, I wish you success and happiness as you finish your last year of school, and who knows, maybe we’ll work together someday when you’re a hair and make up artist!

 

If you want high school senior portraits that reflect your personality and style, drop me a line!

Thursday
Oct102013

Thirty-something things only my close friends know about me (Milwaukie, Oregon photographer)

 

My parents used to go all out for birthdays when I was a kid. I’d wake up to banners and balloons and I was treated like royalty for days on end. It was the best. Now I’m a grown-up, and I’m supposed to be all cool and nonchalant about my special day, but honestly, I still really love birthdays. I like to spoil my friends and loved ones on their birthdays too. If we voted at work, I’d definitely win the “most likely to bring cupcakes to the office” designation.

So, just because I love to spread out a good celebration, here’s a birthday-related post full of factoids about your friendly neighborhood photographer.

Without giving away my age, here are a certain number of facts about me that may or may not add up to be the same number of years I’ve been on this planet.

 10 of my favorite things:

  1. My kids. Of course I love them because they’re mine, but they are truly rad little people.

  2. Thai food. I love almost every dish I have tried.

  3. Quirky, dark comedies like “The Royal Tenenbaums,” “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.”

  4. "30 Rock"

  5. Pedicures. 

  6. Going out dancing — hip hop, ‘80s, salsa, swing, you name it.

  7. Staying anywhere with a view. 

  8. Wandering around Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Target or any number of the cute boutique shops in Portland.

  9. Singer/Songwriter Brandi Carlile. (I have seen her in concert at least half a dozen times.)

  10. Warm weather, being outside and exploring new parks.

 15 things you might not know about me:

  1. I played adult dodgeball on a recreational team for two seasons. We were even named rookies of the year.

  2. My first time on an airplane was when I was 23 years old, and it was a 13-hour flight by myself. (You know, other than the crew and passengers.)  

  3. Growing up I had a turtle named Myrtle and a Dalmatian named Domino.

  4. I got braces six months ago.  

  5. I have a thing for water parks.

  6. I’ve only cried at two movies: “My Girl” and “Marley and Me.”

  7. I studied abroad in Spain, and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

  8. I don't sit still very well and I love to learn. I like to spend my free time watching webinars and tutorials, reading articles and taking classes and workshops. I love to learn about photography and graphic design, as well as social media and marketing, Spanish language and culture and how to be the best parent I can be.

  9. I photographed my first wedding when I was still in college.

  10. My creativity skyrocketed when I became a mother.

  11. I love to go to karaoke, but I never sing. 

  12. I had a reputation as a kitchen disaster when I was younger, so now I feel all rebellious and empowered when I’m cooking dinner. My worst offense was serving my friend toast with what I thought was grape jelly, but was actually a super spicy Korean pepper paste my roomate's mom had made. Poor guy was not expecting that! 

  13. I'm a middle child.

  14. Choosing this guy as my partner was the best decision I ever made.

  15. I have taken nine years of Spanish. My daughter watches "Dora the Explorer." Somehow, her accent is better than mine. You should hear her say "piñata."

8 things I’ve recently learned:

  1. My mom is the toughest lady on the planet.

  2. It’s great to philosophize about what kind of parent you’ll be, but when it comes down to it, so much of parenting is just reacting to kids' wants and needs with barely enough time to think. That’s why my goal is to just be a kind, honest, healthy, positive person and teach them by modeling what it means to be a good person.  

  3. I love the article, "How not to say the wrong thing." It may seem obvious, but I think it's such a clever way to think about being a supportive friend.  

  4. There have been several times in my life when I thought, "I can't do this," but then I just went ahead and did it anyway. 

  5. On a similar note, I’ve found that you can get through anything if you surround yourself with the right people who love and support you. I'm super lucky to have a great group in my corner. 

  6. No matter how it turns out or if you never do anything with it, completing a creative project is satisfying to the soul.

  7. Happiness is a choice you make every day. It's pretty empowering to know you can control what kind of day you have.

  8. Pretty much all the cliches are true. ;)