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Entries in portland oregon children's photographer (2)


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

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! 


Getting a natural smile from your tot (Portland, Oregon children’s photographer)


Little kids have amazingly goofy smiles they put on whenever a camera comes out. Their picture smile usually involves throwing their heads back, jutting their chins toward the camera, squinting fiercely and lifting their lips way up over their gums to reveal teeth or the gummy holes where teeth should be. It's pretty adorable. It doesn't, however, look much like the happy kid you see playing out in the back yard.

So how do you get your child to give you a natural smile the next time you take his picture? Here's a few tips that have worked for me:

  • Once you bring the camera out, and your little one gives you the “cheese” face, go ahead and take the picture. Then ask him to try it another way. If you start out telling him he is doing it wrong, you are likely to end up with a grumpy guy.
  • Don't say cheese because it triggers them to pull their cheeks back in an unnatural way, and many kids believe that “say cheese” means give the biggest, fakest smile you can. They'll just breath the word out through clenched teeth. Instead, mix it up by saying having them repeat silly words like “pickle sandwich” “green bean casserole” and “rutabaga.” Anything food related is pretty classic and will generally make kids chuckle. (Speaking of food, sometimes offering a treat helps, but other times it's just messy and distracting. I would consider it a last resort. Also, young kids can’t understand delayed satisfaction, so when you offer them a treat if they are good for photos, they often can’t focus on anything but that goodie that’s waiting for them.).
  • Lock eyes with them and smile until they smile back. 
  • Be playful and make the experience special. Kids can pick up on that fun-time energy.
  • Play pretend.  Ask them to show you their angry face, what a shy person looks like and to model their best scared face. In between you are likely to get some great giggles.
  • Tell them not to smile. Reverse psychology is awesome that way.
  • Be patient and take breaks. Put the camera down and talk and play for a while and see if you are able to get them in a great mood so smiles come more easily.
  •  Keep in mind that not every smile has to be a big ol' grin. Some of my favorite pictures are just just natural expressions and soft smiles.

I love spending time with families and taking photos of children. If you are interested in getting fun and natural portraits of your family, drop me a line sometime!