Category Archives: Events

Surprise Birthday Celebration

Surprise birthdays are the best!  Everyone arrives early and gathers around to get ready for the highly anticipated moment of when the guest of honor arrives.

Dawn’s 50th surprise birthday party was a smashing success.  She went out to dinner with her husband, parents, and some friends for an evening of celebration.  Little did she know that following dinner, there was an even bigger surprise in store.

They pulled up to Urban Studio in downtown Portland when Dawn noticed some flashing lights and a rather large group of people waiting for her arrival.  She was completely shocked once she entered the room.  Friends travelled from all over including some friends who even came in from overseas.

Guests mingled with cocktails and enjoyed all the catering provided by Pearl Catering.  The Mac-n-Cheese Bar was a real hit.

Greenlight Creative provided the uplighting and table accents.  Hit Machine provided endless amounts of rocking entertainment.  Guests flooded the dance floor and rocked out all night long.  Bart, the lead singer, jumped down from the stage on a number of occasions and worked the crowd into a celebratory frenzy.

Dawn was even welcomed up onto the stage to sing a few songs with the band and one of her guests even had the chance to play the guitar and rock out with the band.  The party was non-stop and guests had an incredible time.

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Bat Mitzvah at Congregation Beth Israel

Tess held her Bat Mitzvah at Congregation Beth Israel and had an evening celebration at Punch Bowl Social.  The weather allowed us the opportunity to capture portraits outdoors as well as indoors at the bima.  Tess practiced reading the Torah in advance of the ceremony and successfully completed her Bat Mitzvah.

Friends and family members gathered at Punch Bowl Social later in the evening for a night filled with fun and fanfare.  Henna artists and a fun photo booth setup were available as additional entertainment to all the video games, shuffle board, bowling, darts, and karaoke options.  It was a fun-filled evening of celebration.

 

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Bar Mitzvah Celebration

More often than not, capturing a Bar/Bat Mitzvah consists of a family portrait session at the synagogue in the morning and a celebratory event in the evening.  The opportunity to photograph the actual Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony is very rare.  However, we recently had the opportunity to capture Jesse’s Bar Mitzvah at Havurah Shalom.

After capturing Jesse and his family at the bima, everyone settled in to witness Jesse’s Bar Mitzvah ceremony where he read from the Torah.  He did a wonderful job and was congratulated by friends and family immediately following the ceremony.  Later that evening, guests arrived at the Punch Bowl Social in downtown Portland for Jesse’s Bar Mitzvah celebration.  The venue is a dream for Bar Mitzvahs with it’s fully stocked bars, large flat screen tvs, video games, multiple bowling alleys, dart boards, foosball, ping-pong tables, and various games.  There is an endless supply of entertainment.  Add to that a DJ, a wildly fun dessert and candy bar display, and lots and lots of friends, and you have one heck of a memorable event.

As a Portland Bar Mitzvah photographer, we are pleased to share these highlights from Jesse’s Bar Mitzvah celebration.

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Surrogate Birth Session

Birth photography is among the most intense and rewarding experiences as a photographer.  To be among a select few allowed into a room during the birth process is an incredible honor.
 
I met Brandi many years ago and had the opportunity to photograph her wedding in the summer of 2008.  Many years later, she and her husband began learning about the surrogacy process.  Ever since a little girl, Brandi had always wanted to be a mother.  She is blessed with 2 precious daughters (both of whom I have photographed many many times).  But Brandi wanted to also make the dream of having children possible for others who may not have the ability to have children of their own.  So, it led her to become a surrogate through the Northwest Surrogacy Center.  Brandi has been sharing the experiences of being a surrogate on her personal blog titled A Beautiful Blessed Mess.  
 
I had the opportunity to check in with Brandi throughout her pregnancy and capture some of the processes involved in being a surrogate leading up to and including the birth.  As the due date approached, Brandi and I stayed in frequent contact and had a few get together meetings to discuss the logistics of her birth plan and how she wanted everything photographed.  When I received the call that she was heading into the hospital, I gathered up my camera gear and made my way to the hospital.  It was rather early in the morning and Brandi was experiencing a series of contractions that suggested the baby would be arriving soon.  The intended parents were already at the hospital as well, ready to welcome their newborn son.  
 
We all know how unpredictable life can be and that certainly holds true for birth as well.  There were moments where things were progressing more quickly and other moments that involved lots of waiting.  The day started around 7am and seemed to wrap up around 11pm or so with the game plan to get lots of rest and plan for birth the next day.  We reconvened in the morning after a night of “rest” and waited for things to progress further.  As the day turned into early evening, it finally became go time for the little one to arrive.
 
Surrounded by her husband, a close friend, and the intended parents, Brandi had a tremendous amount of support.  Everyone was ready.  Congratulations to the intended parents on the arrival of their newborn son.
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Michele - May 26, 2016 - 12:51 pm

I can’t have anymore kids and would love to have a baby.

Cassaundra - May 26, 2016 - 8:42 pm

I am so proud of all of you, many blessing and so much love to come!!

Henry’s Bar Mitzvah Celebration

Henry and his family gathered at Congregation Beth Israel for some family portraits prior to Henry’s Bar Mitzvah ceremony.  The weather was particularly nice so we made sure to capture some portraits outdoors in addition to the more traditional portraits captured at the Bima.

The evening festivities were held at SuperPlay.  Talk about an extraordinarily fun evening for the kids – bowling, arcade games, and the wildly popular laser tag.  Henry and all his guests had virtual free reign over the place running from activity to activity throughout the evening while the parents got to hang out and mingle at the bar.  The photo booth and candy bar were popular items during the evening and everyone gathered to watch a slideshow about Henry that was played on all the televisions and screens including those over the bowling alley.  It was a very fun evening and many of the guests even got to come away with fun prizes and candy from turning in their game tickets.

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Easter Eggstravaganza

When Stacey with Red Shoe Productions contacted us to document The Hatter’s Easter Eggstravaganza at the Aerie at Eagle Landing, we knew that we were in for quite a treat.  We have worked with Red Shoe Productions on a number of events and Stacey and her team always put together the most successful events.  She specializes in creating interactive experiences for events, corporations, non-profits and weddings that always engage the guests and leave a lasting impression.

Take for example, the Easter Eggstravaganza where guests were treated to a number of fun activities ranging from wild creations from a balloon artist to creative face paintings.  Event Team Entertainment provided 2 separate photo booth options and plenty of arts and crafts tables and supplies were available for all.  Rojo the Llama and Napoleon the Alpaca were huge hits with the kids as were the giant inflatable bounce houses as well.  Fifty Licks Ice Cream, Miss Hannah’s Popcorn, and Nineteen27 S’mores were just some of the many vendors present.

To really top things off though, the big crescendo to the event was having the Easter Bunny arrive by helicopter.  Families gathered around to watch him land in an open field and work his way to the party.  It was a huge celebration with hundreds and hundreds of families participating in the event.  Shortly after the Easter Bunny arrived, various egg hunts took place for children of all ages.  Thanks to all the vendors for making the event such a smashing success and to Red Shoe Productions for making it all happen.

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Isabelle’s Bat Mitzvah Celebration

Having the opportunity to photograph Isabelle’s Bat Mitzvah celebration was certainly quite the treat.  The morning began with some portraits with family members at Congregation Beth Israel and concluded with an epic party celebration at Irving Street Kitchen in the evening.

Isabelle’s guests were treated to a festive evening filled with all sorts of entertainment and fun.  The table settings included numerous selfie-sticks for the guests and an area was set aside for henna artists Half Moon Henna, a couple of caricaturists from Barbara Pikus Caricatures, and the HappyMatic Photo Booth.  DJ Max Barenberg with Blackboard Music had the crowd out on the dance floor all night long.  This was also due in part to an incredible candy bar overflowing with candy treats from Sweets, Etc.

Izze Sodas were the signature drink of the evening for those under 21 with an assortment of cocktails made available at the bar for the adults.  Isabelle’s friends and family members gave some incredible speeches and later broke into song while Isabelle and various family members played the guitar and sang along.

The entire day was a fun celebration of Isabelle and all her accomplishments.  Here are some of our favorite images from her recent Bat Mitzvah celebration:

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