Thursday, December 24, 2009

'twas the night before christmas, and all through the house...

- the dog ran frantically back and forth trying to shake the excess energy as we'd left him alone all night while we were at church and then to my sister's in-laws for dessert and games

- dad was putting the finishing touches on presents

- mom was making a salad to bring to dinner tomorrow night

- and i sat lazily on the couch, watching a christmas story while drinking genmaicha (my favorite japanese tea). mmm.

before i come off as a total bum here, i'm forbidden from entering the area of the house where gift wrapping is taking place. this disqualifies me from assisting in the making of the salad since dad is right there, too. :) oh man, i'm so bummed i have to be curled up with a blanket and my favorite hot drink. ha.

time in new york has been fun but whirlwind-y, as is usual. one of the best things so far? spending time with old friends & family, for sure. but a close second has been all the lovely families i've been spending time around. one of these families has two little darlings, one of them born just about a week ago. check out these photos featuring two beautiful little people.

this almost-four-year-old

loves to "read"

and spend time around her brand new baby brother.

he doesn't really like being cold (who can blame him?)

and really is much happier cuddled in a mound of blankets.

he also does a mean impression of a baby bird. there's talent.

throughout their childhood, they'll make a fine pair. :)

no, my entry didn't even come close to rhyming, but because i started this way i might as well finish strong:

merry christmas to all, and to all a good night. (i hope it's a wonderful time with the people in your life that you treasure.)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

procrastination is my middle name.

i am procrastinating.

i leave for the east coast in just a matter of hours now, and i haven't packed a thing. whoops. :)

before i get down to business, i wanted to show you all a photo from an engagement shoot yesterday with a wonderful couple named jeff and jenna. they are AMAZING and we had such fun wandering around downtown portland yesterday even though it was a bit rainy- more rainy than we would've liked. this photo shows how we didn't try to fight the elements- just made the best of it. :)

see all you new yorkers soon!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

magazine! article!

it's 12:40am... i'm a little excited. :)

if you live in the tacoma, wa area please pick up the current winter issue of South Sound. if you don't, and want a teeny, tiny peek at what i'm talking about, click HERE.

(if you still don't get why i'm pointing this out at 12:40am, check out who shot the photos for this article. ;) it may be someone you know...)

trust me- the hard copy is beautiful. this magazine is a great combo of two of my favorite things- well-written words and pretty pictures. i feel so excited to be a part of this issue... and i think you should run right out and get one today. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

'tis the season.

good evening!

right now i'm sitting in a charming coffee shop with big sparkly snowflakes hanging from the windowsills and working while sarah, my lovely, dear friend & roommate studies. if you don't know her, you should. she's amazing.

sarah + tiny cupcakes = <3

anyway. time for a substantial entry! first let me say that i just love christmastime. it's always been my favorite holiday and then a few years back, when other things in my life were less than ideal, i started to like it less. there was just no charm to the season anymore, i couldn't seem to find my heart in all the songs and decorations and cookies and traditions. maybe i was growing out of christmas as i grew up? thankfully i think it was just a season in my life that was tainted by other disheartening circumstances, like we all go through. if this year is "one of those" for you, i'm sorry. hang in there. for me... there is so much that surprised me about this entire year and where my life is currently... all good things. and happily, my childlike wonder about christmas eve services and twinkly lights has returned in full force and so far i've had an investment of sorts in three separate christmas trees. overkill? nah. ;)

the following photos are from a family shoot with a family that i adore. this is the third time i've spent time with them and let me just say that i think they are wonderful parents to a equally wonderful little guy. not being a parent yet myself gives me a lot of time to think and observe... and if i'm fortunate enough to have my own kids one day, i'd love to have the kind of patience, love, and FUN that this family has together! see what i mean....

thanks scott, patty, and jakob for letting me spend time with your amazing family! if i were allowed to have favorites, you all would be one of them. :)

Monday, November 30, 2009

i love married people

rachel and brad are pretty awesome.

i mean, seriously? look at their sense of style and how comfortable they are in front of the camera:

they got married a little over a year ago, and are still so obviously crazy for each other. i love it. :)

they were both SO easy to shoot. true confession: it can be hard for me to go from "oh hey, nice to meet you!' to invading your personal space with a camera in 2.2 seconds flat! but what rachel and brad did that was soooo helpful to me is that they were THEMSELVES. that's what i always tell people when they ask how they should be or what they should do during a shoot- just be yourself! talk about yourself, tell me what you like, don't like, wear clothes that you feel good in and go with it! i love variety in people and families and these guys brought it in full force. so refreshing! the park where we shot in salem, oregon was a park that they used to walk together when they were just dating. at first i wasn't sure what the scenery would be in this semi-dismal time of year, but i was so pleasantly surprised with how well it worked with their style and personalities! i loved every minute. thanks guys, for a lovely sunday afternoon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

gobble, gobble

thanksgiving this year was a brand-new experience for me. i've spent it away from family before, but never before have i spent it in an art gallery. :) good food, amazing atmosphere, and fun conversations were had at the gallery connected with my boyfriend's sister's fiance. (there's simply no great way to explain all that. ha!)

my little snapshot does not do justice to these amazing pieces of art! there were such amazing things on display.

if you're not sure who i am in this shot... let me make it easy for you. one word: shortest. :)

absolutely everything was so visually oriented- i loved it!

it sounds so cliche to say that i'm thankful, but i truly am. life is not perfect, but it is rich with blessings and it is good.

i'm definitely excited to see what's just around the bend. :) happy thanksgiving. hope you all are enjoying time spent with family and friends.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

hello from the east side

good afternoon!

whenever i travel and am stuck in any airport, my favorites are those with free wi-fi. :) let's hear it for something FREE!! (yeah!) my flight out of new york back to portland has been delayed a few hours, which is no problem since originally i had a 4.5 hour layover in newark... so i found myself a quiet corner with an electrical outlet and am trying to catch up on email and such while i wait. i realize it's been a heck of a long time since i've blogged, so here's a random sampling from a few photoshoots i had on the east coast this past week!

the main reason i flew here was for, of course, a wedding. booking a wedding somewhere kind of nails down a specific date that i need to arrive by, and then i tend to book the smaller shoots (families, engagement, senior pics, etc.) around that time. i first met erin and shawn early this year, and shot their engagement photos in the spring at yaddo gardens, in the saratoga region. exhibit a:

they're great. during their engagement session we talked a lot about their animals (i believe they have a few dogs and a few cats between the two of them... :)), their families, and their careers. i loved their fun, easygoing attitudes! this past friday (the 13th!) was their wedding, and as the weather in new york during the month of november can be cold (to put it mildly), they really lucked out. :) their evening wedding was absolutely perfect- here are a few photos from their day.

this trip was filled with this fabulous wedding, a few beautiful families, and lots of quality time with my own family and boyfriend. i have so much more to show you, but it looks like my plane may be taking off sooner than i'd anticipated and i'll need to quit writing for now. more to come! thanks to all the new yorkers who made this trip so awesome- i'll be back again soon!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


happy halloween to all you trick-or-treaters out there today!

kittycat loves halloween. i mean, c'mon! who doesn't?

my favorite part(s) of this holiday:
. cute little kids in costumes with EARS. oh how i love hoods with little ears.
. pumpkins! (of course!)
. candy corn... don't even get me started.
. christmas music! 'tis the season... and no, it's not too early. don't try to convince me- losing battle. ;)

i think i've mentioned a couple times that earlier this month i shot a few families in new york... just a few. :) one of these families had a GREAT shoot in albany's washington park...

we fed ducks

threw leaves

did a few awesome dance moves

and just enjoyed the day together.

beautiful fall colors, beautiful day, beautiful family. :)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

thinking out loud.


as far as the pacific northwest goes, winter is here. to me, fall consists of colorful trees and cooler days, crunchy leaves and breaking out the long sleeves. winter happens all of a sudden while i'm looking the other direction- without much warning, leaves are soggy and wet, trees are more naked than not, and i'm desperate for scarves and layers to help keep me warm. thankfully i have a great pair of galoshes to help me survive this rainy season, and lots of warm memories coupled with the hope that spring always shows up eventually. :)

some of you know a bit of my story. the story of a girl who picked up her dad's old nikon sitting by his dresser (after it had collected dust for 20+ years) and asked him to teach her the basics. the girl who, all while growing up, tried music lessons and dance and horseback riding and soccer, yet none of it stuck. however, with a camera in her hands, a part of her came alive. she learned on film and eventually moved to digital, all the while swearing that she'd never, ever do this for other people. it was a gift, only for her, and she never wanted to chance ruining it.

:) my, how things change.

i've been shooting for 7 years now, and through a lot of practice, trial and error (sometimes more error than trial), and a variety of circumstances that pushed me out of my comfort zone over a year ago to begin trying to do this professionally rather than only for personal enjoyment, i find myself here. photography has been my full time job since last spring. much to my amazement, others had so much confidence and faith in me, and entrusted me with their weddings, families, events, their memories. i've shot a lot of photos in the past year, more than i'd ever expect.

however, here's the part where i tell you the truth: i am not a business person. :) i'm also one who oftentimes learns as she goes. ha. i'm trying, i'm learning. at least i'm starting to. :)

part of my philosophy is to remain affordable. i am not in this for the "big bucks." :) money does not drive me. if we could barter in exchange for my food, my rent, my transportation costs... you'd have yourself an instant deal. :) not being motivated by getting rich, not being a natural business person, wanting to provide quality images at an affordable price has however made for some interesting times on my end.

pricing is subjective, and affordability is also subjective. i am not rich, not at all. i go without, buy things on sale, and believe simplicity is the best answer 9 times out of 10. yet i realize that i can't continue booking trips like my october trip to new york which held 2 weddings and 14 smaller shoots in less than two weeks. burnout, anyone? :) i want to continue to love to do this. i want to have room to pursue continually pushing myself to grow in creativity and technique. i want to do my best for you. i also want to be able to pay my rent. :)

when i started doing this for others, i was charging next to nothing for a family photoshoot... and i was happy to do that! i loved the opportunity to get to know and shoot these wonderful people and push myself to see what this could become. at the time i was also working another full time job and so paying the rent wasn't that big of a deal. :) now that this is my living, i have to force myself to think through things differently. it's a much more challenging endeavor for me, yet i'm not going to run from it.

know that as i wrestle with the balance, my commitment to meet you halfway remains the same. i am not even close to rich :) and i think my prices remain fair and affordable. i have had multiple situations, even with the pricing that i consider very reasonable, where people approach me and say "hey, listen. i respect what you're charging... but i honestly can't afford your rates. is there any way we could meet in the middle?" i respect their honesty so much and have tons of empathy for how much it costs to plan a wedding, raise a family, pay the bills, put food on the table. i can be flexible if you need me to be. i love doing that and invite you to be open with me about what you're looking for in a photographer and what you can afford. i promise to return the honesty your way and if it's at all possible, find a solution that works for both of us.

thanks for listening to my rambling today. i promise to get a more photo-saturated blog up quite soon. also keep your eyes peeled for a few updates to my website... i'm excited about changing it up a little!

have a great day. :) thanks for your continued support and excitement about what i'm doing here! it means so much.

Monday, October 19, 2009

(in memory)

in mid august, i shot a wonderful wedding in the portland area. spending time with the sister of the bride, valerie, was definitely a highlight of that day. i remember talking with her about new england living (as we are both from the northeast), admired her tattoos, talked with her about her beautiful children, and also enjoyed watching her interact with those she loved on this happy, happy day. a few hours ago i heard the sad news that valerie passed away and my heart hurts for her parents, her sister, her children, and her friends.

it's a privilege to capture life.

it was a privilege to capture valerie.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

rain, rain, go away

well, today i got a taste of what the next (6?) months of work might be like in oregon.

arrive @ laurelhurst park in se portland.

family arrives @ laurelhurst park in se portland.

family dog chases sticks.

family dog chases other park dwellers.

family dog refuses to sit for family photos.

ignore family dog.

family photos (click, click).

where did that sun go?

um. it's getting kind of dark.

is that thunder?

TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR. (run to cars. reschedule.)

haha. oh, dear. i drove home in the oregon rain that i love, and called my afternoon appointment to reschedule that as well. rain boots and umbrellas also make mighty cute photos, but this kind of rain is more than just a couple of drops. we're talking BUCKETS. pour pour pour pour.

no shoots today.


this afternoon i'll curl up under a blanket with tea and some editing. that sounds like a pretty decent deal.

in other news, i'm (obviously) back from new york. i ended up doing 14 (!) smaller shoots and two weddings... in 13 days. holysmokes! thanks to all you new yorkers who always show me so much love and support. i had the best time with you all. i was itching for home (oregon) but you made my stay so lovely. many thanks.

i feel as though i'm still transitioning and still attempting to figure out what i want this business to look like. i love it, i do... but i also miss the creative outlet that photography used to be to me, and i also tend to overbook at times (heh) so that then i feel like the quality of my work declines. :(. any and all input is welcome, as i love doing this for others and probably always will do this to some extent, but i also want to give myself balance in life and room to breathe. hmmm.

look out for an update to the website soon! i figure it's almost time to put up another featured wedding and add some of these lovely fall shots to the galleries. :) colored leaves, mmm-mmm good.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

a thought before flying

hello there!

tonight, i'll catch the red-eye on my way to upstate new york, where i'm from. while there, i have the privilege to shoot two weddings and (hopefully) 11 families, although weather forecasts and limited weekend hours are potentially putting a kink in those plans. regardless, i'm super excited to see familiar faces, hug my family and my kitty, and take a breather from the norm.

this past spring (while still living on the east coast), i was shooting families at this park where they plant beautiful tulips for a tulip festival around mother's day. i'd kept the files, but never bothered to edit them until just last week. the one shot that stuck out to me kind of resonated a bit with some of what i've been thinking about as of late.

sometimes, life doesn't work out the way you plan. oftentimes it doesn't work out that way. :) some of us fit into molds and expectations and norms... others, not so much. i find myself in that latter category more times than not and although i love and thrive on things that are unique, it completely frustrates me as well. can't one thing in my life work out like i hope, can't i be just a LITTLE normal? that remains to be seen. right now it isn't looking that way, despite all my efforts and energy. however... being unique in one way or another enables us to dream bigger, crazier dreams than the average, to love thinking outside the box because we've got to. i rarely understand what's going on in the moment, but later on i often look back and have an "ah-HA" kind of moment. this is a beautiful thing.

i'm not giving up on the hopes i have, instead i'll hold them loosely. if they don't end up working out, the only thing i have left to do is stop trying to make things happen when i have no control, and instead start dreaming different dreams that don't look anything like my current reality. think outside the box. different = amazing.