Monthly Archives: June 2017

Birth Announcement Cards

A great way to celebrate the arrival of your newborn baby is with a custom designed birth announcement card.  We offer a wide selection of card designs to choose from and work with you in building the design and layout for your card.  Choose the design, the style of card, the color, and customize the text and font to your exact needs.  Here is a preview of our new custom birth announcement cards.

Our clients love the ease and convenience of designing their cards from the comfort of their home.  With our online birth announcement card designer, you are in complete control of the look and feel of your birth announcement cards.  Explore the different card styles, colors, and various options to find the look that is right for you.  We present you with an online proof for approval before going to print.  Our birth announcement cards are printed on premium card stock in sets of 25 and come with a set of envelopes as well.  You have everything you need to send your birth announcement cards to all your closest friends and family.

Smiling newborn baby being held by her parents.

Thailand: The Elephant Nature Park

As we planned our trip to Thailand, online searches kept bringing us to the Elephant Nature Park.  It is a natural sanctuary and rescue center for elephants from all over Thailand.  While many dream of the experience of riding a massive 9 ft tall, 4 ton animal, the process of taming a wild elephant to do this is very unfavorable.  Baby elephants are taken from their mother at an early age and are beaten into submission and simultaneously starved and deprived of sleep for days.  Elephants are extremely intelligent animals and they remember this very negative experience forcing them to remain submissive to humans.  So while elephant trekking is not encouraged, visiting an elephant sanctuary like the Elephant Nature Park is highly recommended.

We opted for the Karen Elephant Experience at the Elephant Nature Park.  A shuttle picked us up in downtown Chiang Mai, fully loaded with food for the elephants.  We drove through a mountainous region of northern Thailand and even had to transfer to a 4-wheel drive all-terrain vehicle to make the last stretch of dirt road up to a secluded area where the elephants were free to roam.  Tour guides instructed us on how to properly feed the elephants and how to gain their trust.  If you hold food out in your hand, the elephant will use his/her trunk to grab the food from you.  If you approach the elephant along the side of his face holding the food very visible in your hand, the elephant will open his/her mouth for you to drop it in.  It is amazing to watch such a huge animal chomp on food with an absolutely insatiable appetite.  Elephants eat approximately 10% of their body weight every day, so as you can imagine, a lot of time is spent eating.

Once the elephants have eaten a “reasonable” amount of food, we then bring food with us and begin hiking through the rain forest.  Since elephants love to eat (and you have proven yourself as a good food source), they happily follow.  As they walk through the rainforest they stop to chomp on foliage, rub their bodies up against the trees, and extend their trunks to request more food.  The experience is truly delightful walking just feet away from the elephants and feeding them along the way.

Later in the day, the elephants get to enjoy a playful mud bath in the river.  Elephants love to play and splash in the water and in particular, they enjoy covering their skin in mud.  It helps protect their skin from the sun acting like a sunscreen for the elephants.  Everyone is encouraged to hop in the water with the elephants and rub mud all over their bodies.  One of the elephants we were spending time with in the water lifted his trunk in the air and smiled.  One of the tour guides yelled out, “Happy, Happy!”  It was so refreshing and heart warming to see the elephants have so much freedom to play and have fun.

Following the mud bath, we trekked through a different area in the rain forest and worked our way to another river.  This was the area to bathe the elephants and wash off the excess mud.  The elephants would roll around in the water and splash everywhere.  You could see how much they enjoyed interacting with each other and having the mud washed off them.

Since most of our experiences of elephants in the United States are limited to the zoo, having the opportunity to witness elephants in a much more natural habitat where they are properly and thoroughly cared for is a truly life changing experience.  It was the highlight of the entire trip to Thailand.

Thailand: Bangkok and Chiang Mai

There is nothing quite as exhilarating as travel.

Think of all the wildly diverse cultures and places to see – from places like Australia and New Zealand to China, India, and Russia.  European countries like France, Italy, and Spain.  Less travelled to locations like Estonia, Croatia, and the Ukraine.  What about Panama, Nicaragua, Chile, and Brazil?  The list goes on and on and on.

How can one ever see all the wonderful places throughout the world?  I’m not quite sure if it is possible, but it certainly is a goal worth pursuing.  It is part of what inspired me to launch My Traveling Photographer, a premiere personalized photography service that captures your entire vacation experience.

Having traveled throughout the United States, across many European countries, and to Australia and New Zealand, I knew I wanted my next location to be somewhere in southeast Asia to explore yet a different part of the world.  I set my sights on Thailand.

Thailand is one of those destinations that MUST rank high up on your bucket list of travel locations.  It is truly phenomenal.  Naturally, if flying there from the United States, the flight is rather long.  We flew from Portland to Tokyo to Bangkok.  Thailand offers a rather diverse landscape to explore.  With just 2 weeks of exploration time, we opted to visit the mountainous region in northern Thailand for a week and the beautiful coastal islands in southern Thailand for a week.  We chose two primary locations for our travels – Chiang Mai in the north and Koh Chang in the south.

Landing in Bangkok after a lengthy flight, we knew we would want a day to rest and re-acclimate to the time.  So, we literally spent One Night in Bangkok.  Since we had just one day in the city we chose to spend the better part of our day touring the The Grand Palace.  We’ve posted some highlights from our time spent in Bangkok and some of our favorite temples we explored while in Chiang Mai.  Part of the reason we decided on Chiang Mai as a destination in Thailand is the Elephant Nature Park.  This experience was hands down one of my all-time favorite experiences while traveling.  More on that tomorrow….

Baby Owen

One of the most exciting times to capture in a little one’s life is the very first year.  The changes and growth that occur from newborn to 1 year is astounding and you certainly don’t want to miss a single moment.  One of our most popular photography packages is our Baby’s First Year Photos Package.  It includes a maternity session, a newborn session, a 6 month, and a 12 month session.

Most often, we choose an outdoor location for the maternity session.  Depending on the season, popular locations for maternity sessions are the Tulip fields in the spring, local parks in the summer and fall, and Mt Hood in the winter.  Newborn sessions are most often captured either at our photography studio in NW Portland or in the convenience of your home.  For the 6 and 12 month sessions, we try to vary up the location whether it be indoors or out.

Having captured a maternity and newborn session for Owen, it was time to meet up for a 6 month session.  We chose a park that was just blocks away from his home.  A park that he will likely frequent many many times over the upcoming years.  That is what made this location extra special for his 6 month session.  It will be so fun looking back at all of his childhood photos and seeing images from this session when he was just 6 months old.  Over the course of the next handful months, he will learn to crawl, then walk, and then run like crazy!  This park will have lots of history for Owen and lots of fun playful memories.

Here are some highlights from Owen’s recent 6 month photo session:

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Columbia Gorge Engagement Session

One of our favorite locations for an engagement session is the Columbia Gorge.  There is a stretch of road called the Columbia Historic Highway that follows along the Gorge.  It brings you to a number of waterfalls that are just a short hike from the road.  This enables us to capture a number of stunning locations in a relatively short period of time.  We typically meet couples a few hours before sunset at Horsetail Falls.  We then work our way along the Columbia Historic Highway stopping at locations like the Oneonta Gorge, the iconic Multnomah Falls, Latourell Falls, and spots in between.  We then work our way up to the Vista House at Crown Point just as the sun begins to set for some final dramatic images to conclude the evening.  A Columbia Gorge engagement session takes full advantage of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer.  The lighting is dramatic and the settings are absolutely stunning.

As a quick technical side note, we have hopelessly fallen in love with a piece of lighting gear known as the ProFoto B2.  It is responsible for the more dramatic artificial lighting in these images.  It is extremely rare for a piece of equipment to impact the way you shoot as dramatically as the ProFoto B2 has done for me.  I am forever grateful for it and I enjoy the creative freedom it brings to my work.

To see more of our photography, please check out Portland wedding photographer Paul Rich Studio.  Our photography studio is conveniently located in NW Portland and we are happy to serve you throughout the Northwest and beyond.

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Northwest Surrogacy Center

We have been extremely busy at the studio lately capturing newborn babies.  It has been such a treat getting to meet all the little ones and spending time with the new parents.  The stories are generally pretty similar — lots of time spent feeding and changing diapers and very little time sleeping…  That’s why I like to make newborn sessions as simple and stress-free as possible.

Kari and Joe had their dreams of having a baby fulfilled through the Northwest Surrogacy Center.  After many years of waiting, their little one arrived so we made sure to schedule a newborn session right away.  The beautiful natural light at our photography studio makes the perfect setting for newborn sessions.  We offer a number of props, blankets, and clothing options as part of the session to make color coordination easier for our clients.  We spend however much time is necessary to capture a number of different poses in various outfits and make sure to leave plenty of time for feedings and diaper changes.

We have photographed a number of newborns for couples working with the Northwest Surrogacy Center and always appreciate the opportunity to work with their surrogates and intended parents.

If you or anyone you know is going through the surrogacy process, we would love the opportunity to discuss all the options available for capturing this incredible milestone in your life.

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Baby Patrick

The optimum time to capture newborns is within the first 7 days of birth.  During this time, they are the most sleepy and most malleable for posing.  Newborn sessions of course can be captured any time, but those that are captured within the first 7 days are typically the most successful sessions.  Patrick was the perfect example.  When he arrived at the studio, he was very sleepy and was ready to be photographed right away.  We put him into a few different wraps and played around with a number of different poses and he remained asleep throughout.  When he finally awoke, he was ready to eat, but we had already captured so many photos.  Modeling is not as easy as it looks, so he took one of his biggest feedings to date.  Both mom and dad were quite surprised.

Shortly thereafter, Patrick fell back asleep and we were able to capture another round of images including details of his hands, facial features, and his feet.  He did a wonderful job and we came away with some really nice images from his session.  We will be seeing him again for a 6 month and a 12 month session later this year.  I always love looking back at these images after capturing the 12 month photos.  The changes and growth that occurs within that first year is absolutely staggering – and is why I love it so much when couples choose our Baby’s First Year Package (maternity, newborn, 6 month, & 12 month sessions).

 

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