Hoyt Arboretum Portland Family Photography: Tara and Family

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Tara and her family do a family portrait session every November–so I was honored that they chose me for their 2013 session! I met Tara, Jim and their daughter Eriana at Hoyt Arboretum. As you can see, there was plenty of beautiful autumn foliage for us as the backdrop. We spent our session walking a little loop trail behind the main visitor’s center, but there are many miles of trails throughout the park. I will definitely be returning there to explore!

Little Eriana was almost three. She was so very cute, and she also did not want to interact with me! Well, not initially, anyway. But of course I knew that we could get to her. 🙂 First, the classic Daddy toss loosened her up, and then I wore down her defenses by pretending to chase her. She finally started to laugh and squeal and show her true colors. I loved seeing it, and I LOVED capturing it. That’s my favorite–getting those genuine, happy moments that really show someone’s spirit. 🙂

I had such a great time photographing this family! These pictures still make me smile. Lovely people. 🙂

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Portland Family Photography: New Baby Lydia

This was such a special family session! Karly and Jeff were having their daughter and wanted to document their son meeting the new baby for the first time, only a few hours after birth. Aren’t brand-new babies just magical and miraculous? I was so excited for them and their new addition. It was truly an honor to witness and photograph them in their first moments as a family of four.

Congratulations to this sweet family! Thank you for allowing me to photograph this special day!

Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0001 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0002Ellis, who was just about to turn 6, seems like he’s going to be a wonderful big brother. You can see he was nervous at first, but he was quickly smitten! He loved looking at little Lydia, and touching her face or hands. She opened her eyes and looked right at him when he spoke! What a wonderful bond they will have. Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0003 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0004Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0006 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0005Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0007 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0008 Lydia was a very calm, happy baby. She was very upset to be taken away from mama to be given her very first swaddle! However, then she calmed down, and loved being snuggled by her family. And her family loved snuggling her! Can you blame them? Here’s daddy and grandma, looking incredibly thrilled with the precious new baby. Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0009 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0010 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0011 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0012 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0013 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0014Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0020 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0015 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0016 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0017 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0018 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0019 Portland Hospital Newborn Photography_0021

Portland Courthouse Wedding Photography: Julia and Luke

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This courthouse wedding was a brief event, but it was really lovely.

I met up with the couple before their appointment with the judge. The Multnomah County Courthouse is in a lovely area of downtown Portland, with a stretch of parks right across the street. We wandered through a couple of them, taking portraits as we went. I only got to chat with Julia and Luke briefly, but it was clear how much they enjoyed each other! They were adorable together and obviously so excited about getting married. They both looked so elegant too!

After the couples portraits, we did some formal family portraits in one of the parks. Both of their families and a few good friends had all come into town, and it was a fairly large group. Right when we had everyone gathered together, the sprinklers in the lawn suddenly came on! Happily no one was in the direct path of the water. (And all my equipment was safe too–phew!) That provided a nice laugh though, as we all filed into the courthouse. The wedding ceremony was in a judge’s chamber, and it was short and sweet. The bride and groom were so thrilled and in love!

Enjoy a sampling of my favorite photos from the evening. I had a wonderful time photographing them and witnessing the start of their married life together! Congratulations, Julia and Luke!

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Portland Family Photography: Sweet Tiny Twins!

I’ve photographed several hundred newborns in hospitals, and so now I hope to make the natural transition to doing lifestyle baby photo sessions in the home.

Please meet Brooklyn and Dakota, sweet little 6 week old twin girls. The family is part of the same twins club I belong to here in the Portland area. Aren’t they adorable?? My own twins are so big now, and I loved getting to see and hold such tiny babies again.

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Mt Hood Daytrip!

On the Fourth of July, my little family took a lovely little daytrip just east to visit Mt. Hood! Finally! I’ve been so excited to see this mountain up close and personal since we moved here last fall.

My husband and I visited Mt. Rainier a few summers ago and it floored me how incredibly gorgeous it was. We stayed overnight at Paradise Lodge, right up on the mountain, and spent hours walking and gawking at the scenery.  (Um, apparently I never put any photos up here…will have to fix that!) So of course I’ve been antsy to have another beautiful mountain experience.

Now, obviously it was not going to be any long trip with two babies in tow. Certainly nothing that would take ‘hours.’  I didn’t mind, though; I just wanted to get up there and see the glory!

And by golly, it was glorious indeed.

One of the fun things about driving to mountains is rounding corners and seeing the mountain in front of you, bigger each time.


Did you know the exterior/establishing shots for The Shining were of Timberline Lodge?


The lodge is just around that corner–see the tiny bit of road at the bottom? See what I mean about glorious??


And in black and white too, just because.


Turned around from that same spot, now looking south:


At the lodge. This was as close as we got. Which was pretty good for such a short outing, I figured. Plenty of ogling time.


On the south-facing balcony of the lodge:


And the view! That’s Mt. Jefferson.


We found a short ‘hike’ (maybe a mile roundtrip) along a little river to a small falls.


It was so peaceful and cool!



Little Zigzag Falls!

1/20th was the longest shutter speed I could do handheld–I was pretty psyched that it came out so great! I can be wobbly sometimes. 🙂


Ahhh, evergreen trees and sunshine. Such a balm to the soul.


Lots of them have fallen down, though.


Here’s my husband and one of our babies, testing out some water dripping from overhead. I love the light on little M’s face. (If you’re interested in seeing more of them, you can see the post on my twin blog here.)


We can’t wait to go explore more of nature!

Beautiful Oregon


Last week my husband and I traveled to the West Coast and spent a few days in Oregon. We started in Portland, and we took it easy. Met up with some friends, ate some donuts, wandered Powell’s, rented some bikes and pedaled around in the glorious sunshine. We visited the divine Rose Garden, where I couldn’t help but sniff like every single rose I saw. How delightful–rows and rows of roses!

We drove up to Mt Tabor for some views of the city (though maybe we were in the wrong spot, because everything was at least partially blocked by trees [though I’m not complaining; I love trees!]). I liked this tableau of a woman just kind of hanging out, with a cute bike.

And this stunning view of Mt Hood wasn’t too shabby. (See what I mean about the trees?)

After a couple days, we drove our rental car south and east, into the Cascades, to visit Crater Lake. Which looks like this and literally made my jaw drop.

Crater Lake is famous for its blue, which I didn’t believe until I saw it. It is some serious, serious blue. That blue next to evergreen green has to be one of the happiest nature color combinations out there! This is not enhanced in any way–look at those colors!

Here’s the Phantom Ship. It’s the oldest visible remnant of the mountain; it’s pre-volcanic stuff. It appears tiny in the huge lake, but apparently it’s sixteen stories tall!

Our rental car was shiny.

We were lucky enough to walk a new trail, opened this summer! It’s called Plaikni Falls, and it’s so adorable! It was a hot day (as they all were while we were in Oregon, 90+ degrees), and turning the final corner to the trail you actually felt the air cool down at least ten degrees. The surrounding forest isn’t terribly lush with undergrowth, but the cascading Sand Creek (fed by a spring, not the lake; no one knows where the lakewater seeps) supports abundant wildflowers, and it’s ridiculously picturesque. Unfortunately we were there too late in the afternoon to get direct sun, but that worked for my favor.  Any brighter and it would have been tougher to get settings that worked for slowing down the water. (This is f/29, 1 second, ISO 125)

The light falling through the trees is always so beautiful, isn’t it?

I’d been looking forward to seeing and enjoying (…and photographing) some crystal clear night skies, devoid of light pollution. Maybe a bit of moon reflecting off the lake. Alas, it clouded over. Happily, it was a storm, with lightning! You know what that means! I set up my gorillapod at one of the turnouts, where we could see the flashes and the lake.

Soon the storms moved away and we were just seeing bright flashes, no bolts. So we drove along the Rim Drive until we had a better view. This was a glorious strike, though you’ll have to forgive the blown section.

This spot overlooks a handful of naturally-occurring forest fires. There were signs everywhere telling people not to report them. We saw several rangers and they told us that they’d been started by lightning, and were being watched carefully. If the fires got too big, they would step in and manage them. But it’s still eerie to see smoke plumes and reddish glows moving slowly.

Here’s a similar view the next day. This blanket of trees as far as the eye can see…it makes me so happy I can’t even tell you. Sometimes I wish I could see the west in the time of the natives, when everything was covered in evergreen forests. Wow.

Later, I started raining in one section of sky while the sun still shone brightly in another. Can you see the falling drops here?

Our last stop was to the Castle Crest Wildflower Trail. Just look at the happy flowers, and all the green!

It was relaxing, and beautiful. I love nature, I love mountains, I love forests, I love water!