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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Surrogate Birth Story

When I began my career as a photographer, I knew I wanted to primarily capture people.  The idea of documenting important milestones in people’s lives seemed the most appealing.  Naturally, one first thinks of things like weddings, birthdays, graduations, and special events like family reunions.  I have had the opportunity to photograph many of those events, but one of the things I never thought I would have the opportunity to photograph is birth – especially birth by a surrogate who is carrying babies for intended parents.

I have to be honest, whenever I receive an email from a surrogate or an intended parent, I leap with joy.  There is something about the overall experience that I really connect with on a personal level.  Watching someone carry and deliver a baby for someone else is the kindest most generous gift I think one person could ever give to another.  And any intended parent I have ever met, is overflowing with gratitude toward the surrogate.  It is a unique bond and life experience unlike any other.  So anytime I am asked to be present for the miracle of birth, I eagerly oblige.

When I first arrive to the hospital, I always enjoy all of the anticipatory excitement.  I typically unpack my gear and get photographing right away, even though the actual birth is typically many hours away.  I love capturing all those moments leading up to the actual birth itself.  For the intended parents, it is the last time they will be just a couple.  And the involvement between the intended parents and the surrogate is fascinating to watch.

Jonas and Ben had waited many years for this day to finally arrive.  They had always wanted a baby girl and a baby boy, and lucky for them, that is exactly what Ashley was carrying for them.  Ashley had contacted me months prior saying that she really wanted the birth photographed.  In particular, she wanted me to capture the expression on the dad’s faces as they saw their newborn babies for the very first time.  Anytime I work with a surrogate, that has always been their number one request.  No matter what, capture the look on the dad’s faces.  Honestly, it’s hard to miss.  The room buzzes with energy as the little ones enter the world.

Due to logistics, the decision was made for Ashley’s husband to be by her side during the birth and for Jonas and Ben to be present as well to witness the birth.  I was asked to remain out by the door and to be ready to capture photos as soon as the dads and the babies emerged from the room.  The babies were immediately weighed and assessed by the medical staff and then handed to the dads for some skin-on-skin time.  Jonas and Ben had the opportunity to feed the babies for the very first time and since they had twins, they were each able to hold a baby on their own at the same time.  It was incredibly sweet to witness.  After a short while, they even traded babies so that each baby was held by each dad.

It was time to head back to the hospital room for some rest and special one-on-one time with the babies.  As we were walking down the hall, we stopped in Ashley’s room so she could meet the babies as well.  Jonas and Ben each handed Ashley a baby so she could snuggle them both just for a moment.  I stepped in to grab a photo of the moment and Ashley was beaming with happiness.  There is a photo of her with a gigantic smile as she holds both the babies that has to be one of my favorite photos.

We then proceeded back to Jonas and Bens’ room to capture a few more photos of them as new parents holding their newborn babies.  I didn’t want to stay too long because everyone needed some rest, but it sure was nice to see the entire event from start to finish.  A few weeks later, just before heading back to their home town, I coordinated a family photo session with Jonas, Ben, and their twin babies, along with Ashley, her husband, and their two beautiful daughters.

We would like to thank the Northwest Surrogacy Center and all the surrogates and intended parents who continue to recommend our services.  Capturing your birth stories is an incredible experience.

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Maternity and Newborn Portrait Sessions

The optimum time to capture maternity session photos is somewhere between 32-36 weeks into the pregnancy.  For a select fortunate few, this timing aligns with the cherry blossoms in the Spring.  That was the exact case for Paige and Mike, a couple whose wedding we photographed in 2008.  We met at the Portland waterfront area by Saturday Market to capture portraits underneath the umbrella of cherry blossoms.  We then incorporated some additional portraits out on Sauvie Island to complete the session.  Within days of their newest daughter being born, we met up with the family at their house for a newborn session.

During the newborn session, Mike said that they very much wanted a couple of family portraits with their dogs but that they were very hyper and would most likely need to be quick.  He said to expect total chaos once we let them into the room and that is exactly what happened.  They came barreling in, hopped up on the bed, and immediately began kissing and sniffing everyone.  Baby Emerie stayed asleep during all the commotion and Landrie loved all the excitement.  As quickly as the dogs came dashing into the room they just as quickly dashed back out.  The flurry of activity made some very fun candid photos of the entire family together.

To see more of our newborn photography, make sure to check out Paul Rich Studio.

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Featured: Rangefinder Magazine

We were recently interviewed by Rangefinder Magazine regarding the post-production process for our clients.  Every photography studio manages their processes differently.  Some photographers choose to be entirely hands-on and manage and process all of their images.  Other photographers choose to focus on shooting and delegating their post-production to an assistant or a lab.  My solution has been somewhere right in the middle where I deliver more complex edits to my assistant and an online lab, and oversee, manage, and finalize the finished results.  It has been the perfect combination of ensuring the quality of my work while maintaining an incredibly fast delivery time for my clients.

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Graduation Portraits

Megan is a Class of 2017 graduate of Oregon State University.  Part of celebrating the momentous occasion was meeting up with us for a portrait session at the studio.  Megan brought a small selection of outfits to experiment with different looks and styles.  We began with some simple portraits at the studio and then worked our way outdoors to the surrounding area.  We even made a trip out to Cathedral Park for some iconic images underneath the St Johns Bridge.

As a Portland graduation photographer, it is our pleasure to showcase these highlights from Megan’s portrait session.

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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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