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Entries in photography (5)


Kickstarting an album with Lucia Fasano (Portland band photographer)

I get a real kick out of hanging out with creative types, and Lucia Fasano is just about as creative as one can get. She’s a singer/songwriter, comedienne, cartoonist, actress, photographer and the list goes on. I met her through The Doubleclicks, the funny nerd folk duo I have been honored to photograph several times.

Lucia needed photos that reflected her quirky yet sincere style to promote her Kickstarter campaign. The crowdsourced funds would help release her album of mandolin-infused music. The songs range from soulful and serious to hopeful and cute, so she needed a lot of range out of the photos.   

We met at Council Crest Park, (the highest point in Portland) not for the sweeping views of the city, but for the huge radio tower, which we thought would be a good backdrop for an album called “Radio Silence.”

Thanks to her immense talent, the Kickstarter campaign got funded in less than 12 hours, and now the album is on its way to the masses. If you want to get a copy, there’s still time in the campaign to snag one.

And if you’re a creative type interested in fun photos to capture your style and personality, send me an email and let’s start planning something fun!



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! 


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. 


The crazy connection between motherhood and creativity

I don’t know if it’s a surge in hormones, true inspiration from looking at this tiny cherubic face all day or the feeling of accomplishment that comes from knowing I created one, perfect thing in life, but I have felt an absolute flood of creativity after the birth of each of my children.

After my daughter was born, I felt myself wanting to write children’s books, getting movie ideas from my dreams, jotting down verses on scrap paper and absolutely aching inside when I saw a place I wanted to photograph. Suddenly a regular car ride was a location-scouting trip; I couldn’t help but notice that colorful graffiti on a wall, a perfectly debilitated barn or the way the light fell on the sidewalk.

When my son came, so did my creative renaissance. I had so many ideas that my phone became more of a brainstorm organizer than friend-caller.

And suddenly, I wanted to blog.

I wonder if other moms have felt the same way. Does having a child give you a new passion for life? And if so, maybe that explains the surplus of the much-maligned mom photographers.

If you haven’t heard, there’s quite the controversy in photography circles about women who are mothers and also professional photographers. There’s this stereotype of a rich, bored housewife, whose husband buys her a fancy DSLR and the next thing you know she’s in business with little training. The dreaded moniker that’s hurled like an insult? MWAC: Mom With A Camera. Often, well-established and brick-and-mortar photographers lament how these women are taking away business and undercutting the industry without doing the hard work -- you know, learning the craft, paying taxes and other legitimate concerns.

These people definitely exist, but I don’t worry too much about this because I think customers can tell the difference for one, and that anyone who comes into photography on a whim will drop it when the going gets hard. It’s not easy shooting a wedding in a dark church or taking family photos with children who will not cooperate. You really have to love what you do and dedicate yourself to learning to be a success.

I think what happens more often is that mothers are not bored, but inspired. They want to capture the fleeting moments of their precious babies’ firsts. Suddenly they are seeing their lives through a new set of sparkly, creative, mojo-filled eyes.

I’ve seen a ton of vitriol online about how terrible it is to be a mom with a camera. It’s like the fact that you’ve had a child somehow negates the quality of your work. I think the opposite is true. Mothers can see beauty in the abstract because we’ve loved a child before we were formally introduced. Mothers have had their bodies completely saturated with intense love and pain all at the same time. We’ve given everything we have to our children and after they are born we start fresh learning, seeing and absorbing through the eyes of a child. Of course, I’m not saying you have to be a mom to be a good photographer or creative person, I just know that for me, being a mother has brought a new level of intensity and passion to my life.

Instead of being annoyed by all the moms out there who pick up a camera, we should be encouraged and inspired by them, and try to see the world through their lens.  

Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing women out there.


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.