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Entries in Oregon (6)

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! 

Thursday
Aug012013

Old enough to remember when (Portland senior photographer)

I’m old enough to say, “I remember when you were little” to the young people in my life who seem to be growing up at alarming rates.  I try to avoid saying that — mostly because no one ever has a comeback to that comment — but I sure have been thinking it lately. Whether it’s my nephews (who turned all tall and strong and mature overnight) or in this case, my darling cousins, these kids just keep growing up on me. And they are both seriously gorgeous if you ask me!

I photographed Mariah and Xuxa a while back, and it was really wonderful to spend some quality time with both of them. There’s really only so much you can learn about a person at twice-a-year family get-togethers, so I appreciated the chance to have some time with just the three of us. They are both becoming such interesting, independent and fun ladies. 

Tuesday
Apr092013

Death and the chain studio salesman (Portland, Oregon family portrait photographer)

Getting our family portrait taken when I was a kid meant putting on my nicest clothes (usually silky shirts, floral skirts and pantyhose) and heading down to the mall. My family of five probably only did it four or five times my whole life, and it always went something like this: The photographer called me “Big Sis” and gave similar nicknames to each of my family members. He posed us in front of a brown or blue background, sometimes accentuated with texture like blinds or fabric. He put me in a pose that felt foreign to my body and I tried to sit perfectly still. Then he told us to smile. My mother never did. She has always refused to smile on command. After a few clicks of the shutter and a few variations of the pose, we were done. That's how it worked.

But for a lot of people, that in-and-out routine just doesn’t work anymore. Sears Portrait Studios and a few related chains suddenly closed their doors around the nation last week to the surprise of their customers and even their employees.While I'm sad to see any business close and people lose their jobs, the closure make sense to me. Today’s customers demand more out of their portrait experience. Their own cameras and even camera phones snap decent pictures, so they are searching for someone who can do more than just take a portrait. Many customers want to know their photographer, trust in her abilities and know that her style and aesthetic matches their own. They want their family to be treated like they are special. (Being called by name is a bare minimum.) And when it’s all said and done they want more than a few shots to choose from.

When it comes to family portraits, I think it’s an amazing privilege to capture a family’s real emotion, connection and love. I aspire to capture playfulness and fun. Sometimes my favorite photos are of people laughing, talking or making funny faces -- you know the kind of shot that a corporate studio might consider an outtake. I work hard to get a genuine smile out of everyone and I will be as goofy as need be to get there. I just love getting to know the families I photograph and have been so honored that many of my clients have become my friends. For those reasons and more big box, get-you-in-and-get-you-out, cookie-cutter photography is going out of style and custom lifestyle portraiture is becoming the new norm.

Below you'll find a few of my favorite recent family photos. I promise, no one in these photos was ever referred to as Big Sis.

Sunday
Mar242013

Shelby is my homegirl/Centennial High School, class of 2013 (Portland, Oregon senior photographer)

The eldest daughter of a wonderful family, Shelby is kind, thoughtful and so sweet to her siblings. She’s also a great athlete, super hardworking and fun to be around. By the time we shot her senior photos, she’d already been in front of my lens for some family photos and as a bridesmaid for her mom and dad’s wedding. She was a pro.

We met at Laurelhurst Park, an expansive and diverse park for photographs or for hanging out in Southeast Portland. Shelby brought her best friend along to make the day even more fun and to help keep her energy up on a cold, winter morning. (Thanks for holding my sorry-looking reflector Jessica!) After an outfit change, Shelby’s amazing mom went and got us all hot chocolate to keep us warm between shots. (Love ya Tiffany!)

Shelby helped me realize that senior photography is one of my absolute favorite things to do. High schoolers are fun to be around and always make me laugh. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a bit of a teenager at heart myself; someday I’ll be too old to talk about boys, laugh at fake moustaches and dance like crazy to Usher, but today is not that day!

Monday
Mar042013

Write as if no one is reading (Portland, Oregon portrait photographer)

For someone who is a trained writer, the decision to blog was surprisingly hard for me.  There’s always the fear that I don’t have anything interesting to say, but it was much more than that. For one thing, with jobs and kids, housework and errands, I couldn’t find the time and I didn’t want to commit to blogging if I couldn’t do it on a somewhat regular basis.

But anyone could say that.

Another hold up was about my day job. As a working journalist, I often felt guilty writing for myself because I always had something I should be writing for work.

But as sensitive as it may seem, I think the biggest part of my hesitance was because of the negativity that is often spewed from an anonymous audience. I wasn’t sure I wanted to defend my ramblings. In my career as a newspaper editor, I’ve gotten phone calls and emails and a very passive-aggressive letter or two (anonymous of course) from readers on those occasions when my articles were printed with (GASP!) grammatical errors. One woman wrote me a scrawling, hand-written letter about apostrophe use with a glued-on definition of its vs. it’s and told me I should be ashamed of myself. (For the record, when I see typos in print, I just gloat silently for a minute like most decent humans; contacting the person directly and telling them how stupid they are is super lame.)  Other than grammar and spelling errors, I’ve seen how icky internet trolls can twist comments from something totally innocent into something nasty. I have been amazed time and again how a perfectly benign article could solicit terrible comments. It's shocking to me how a story about a school play starring a kid with a foreign-sounding last name could spark an immigration debate. And that’s not all; sucky people love to rant about teachers, health care, the president, etc. in places where it doesn’t belong.

Then there’s photography, a completely subjective art form. Am I ready to have my work judged by the masses?

Despite my resesrvations, blogging is the best way I can think of to share my passion for portrait photography, my love of all things wedding-related and my joy for connecting with others through photos. And I’ve just had the urge for so long, I figured it’s time to do something about it.

I absolutely invite your comments, suggestions and thoughts. And if I spell something wrong, go ahead and point it out. How else am I going to learn?

So here goes nothing.