Lindsey & Michael | Oct 15, 2016

The longer I photograph weddings and events, the more opportunities I have to work with people I know both personally and professionally.  Oftentimes, those experiences are the most rewarding too.

Back in 2001, after returning from a backpacking trip in Europe, it was time to come back to Portland and re-focus my energies and efforts toward building my career.  I was somewhat freshly out of college, had dabbled in commercial photography, and was looking toward the next chapter in my life.  The trip to Europe was an opportunity to ponder my future and to take a momentary pause from the demands and responsibilities of life.

The task of what to do became quickly overwhelming and I began searching for opportunities outside of photography.  Why not try something entirely different?  I was young enough that I could potentially discover something entirely new and shift my career focus or remind myself yet again of where my passion truly lies.  An opportunity presented itself to me to work in the corporate world of AT&T Wireless.  It began with a 2 week training period, learning all sorts of new computer systems, and the various policies and procedures of the company.  It was completely foreign to me, especially the medical, dental, 401k, and various other benefits that came along with the experience.  Heck, even paid vacation time was a brand new experience for me.

Needless to say, over time I was reminded of how much I missed photography and whenever various photo assignments would present themselves, the direction I needed to move toward became abundantly clear.  I loved nothing more than getting to go out and photograph an event, a wedding, or some other random commercial assignment.

In early 2005, I set my sights on making my departure from AT&T Wireless a reality.  I was able to photograph 6 weddings that year and a few other assignments on the side.  I put some additional effort into the business and in 2006, was able to photograph 12 weddings (exactly double the year before).  I really started to push the business and in 2007, I photographed 24 weddings (ironically double yet again from the previous year).  It was the summer of 2007 with a total of 24 weddings booked, that I made the giant leap of faith into becoming fully self-employed.  This August, I get to officially celebrate 10 years in business!

During my time at AT&T Wireless, I had the opportunity to report to Lindsey.  Yup – she was my boss.  We had a hell of a lot of fun working together and fortunately enough we were able to keep in touch even after my departure from the company.  When she contacted me asking if I was available to photograph her wedding, I was extremely excited for the opportunity and the unique experience of photographing a wedding of someone who used to be my boss!  Doesn’t get much more fun than that.  🙂

A special thanks to both Lindsey and Michael for the opportunity to capture the excitement on your wedding day.  I wish you both all the best!

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Christina & Ian | Sept 3, 2016

Truth be told, we are still catching up and recuperating from an absolutely epic 2016 season.  All of our clients have received their images, in fact, quite some time ago, but we are left with a whole slew of weddings and other assignments to catch up on in the social media world.

Christina & Ian were married at the beautiful Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland in September of 2016.  We arrived early in the day as Barclay Event Rentals and Zest Floral were working on some final touches to the ceremony and reception areas throughout the hotel.  Everything was looking exquisite and well executed to plan thanks to the exceptional expertise of Cindy with Encore Events.

After capturing the bride and groom getting ready at the hotel and portraits of the couple throughout the lobby and various rooms and hallways, the entire wedding party boarded a shuttle bus for additional photos by the Portland Art Museum.  I particularly love that area for the incredible amount of variety that is possible within a relatively short distance for capturing portraits.

Officiant Melissa Coe led the ceremony in celebration of Christina and Ian exchanging their wedding vows and committing their love to each other.  Melissa’s ceremonies are always incredibly memorable due to her passion for storytelling.  Tears and laughter are always guaranteed when she is officiating a wedding.

Guests enjoyed a nice leisure cocktail hour before heading up to the reception room.  I have never seen the Sentinel decorated and set so elegantly as I did on the night of Christina and Ian’s wedding day.  The reception was absolutely spectacular.  Eric with All Wright Music played an endless series of jams all night long.  Paparazzi Tonight entertained guests with their ever-so-popular photo booth that was also setup to an over-sized projection screen to display everyone’s photos throughout the evening.  Whether you participated in the photobooth or not, highly entertaining images of guests were easily visible throughout the entire room.  Voodoo Doughnuts were made available to guests as late night snacks.

The party went on and on well into the evening with one of the most active dance floors I have ever seen at a wedding.  EVER!

Congratulations to Christina & Ian!

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Portland Maternity and Newborn Sessions

When couples contact us letting us know they are expecting, the conversation oftentimes quickly turns to scheduling photo sessions.

When should we capture maternity photos?

When is the best time to do the newborn photos?

Where should we capture the newborn photos?

Do you ever come to the hospital to capture photos?

What about when our little one turns 1?

These are all great questions and we absolutely love helping couples plan for this exciting time in their lives.  We offer an array of photography options from individual sessions to complete packages covering everything from maternity sessions through the baby’s first year and beyond.  It is wise to get a sense of what is available and then for the two of you to make a decision that best suits your needs.

The primary guidelines to keep in mind are the following: Maternity sessions are recommended anytime between 32-36 weeks into the pregnancy.  Newborn sessions are recommended within 7 days of the baby’s birth.  It is easiest to start with these two sessions in mind.  Some couples prefer to not capture maternity photos or to do more of a mini-maternity session.  Those are certainly options.  But most often, the newborn session is the one that is considered of the utmost importance.  We offer newborn sessions at our photography studio in downtown Portland where we have access to lots of room, incredible natural light, and an assortment of blankets, props, and outfits.  However, we also happily travel to couples’ homes as well where we are able to personalize the session by including images captured in the nursery and throughout the home.

We are so excited and honored to have the opportunity to work with a couple of friends of ours Samantha and Jamie in capturing this wonderful milestone in their lives.  This past fall we had the opportunity to capture their maternity session at Cathedral Park to take advantage of the fall colors and then visited them at their home for a newborn session.  Here are a handful of our favorites from both of those portrait sessions.  Later this year we will be capturing a 6 month session as well as a 12 month session.

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My Traveling Photographer

I have always had a passion for travel.

When traveling personally to locations like Sweden, Estonia, and Australia and when traveling professionally to locations like Mexico, St Lucia, and the Czech Republic, I have always had my camera in hand.

One of the things I love most about returning from a trip is looking through all the photographs.  The images provide lasting memories and wonderful art for my home.  In 2016, I decided to combine my passion for travel and photography to provide a unique opportunity for couples and families to have their vacation experiences professionally documented.

My Traveling Photographer provides the ultimate personal vacation photographer experience.

 

Surrogate Photography

In my previous blog post, I discussed how the theme of twins carried through my personal work and how I have turned my focus toward creating more of that type of work as I evolve in my photography career.  About a year ago, I was contacted by a set of intended parents who were flying in to the United States to witness the birth of their set of twins through a process known as surrogacy.  An anonymous donor’s eggs are fertilized and implanted into a surrogate mother who then carries and births the newborn child(ren).  It is a remarkable experience that creates an incredible bond between the surrogate and the intended parents.

I have been honored to work with a number of surrogates and intended parents to witness the miracle first hand.  Maternity sessions, birthing sessions, fresh 48 sessions (where the newborn baby/babies are photographed at the hospital within 48 hours of birth), newborn sessions, and family portrait sessions have been very popular with surrogates and the intended parents.  Surrogates and intended parents from Europe, South America, and throughout the United States are brought together to make the miracle of child birth possible for couples who are not able to birth children themselves.  It is truly an incredible experience to witness.

We are forever grateful to the Northwest Surrogacy Center, not only for the incredible work that they do, but for affording us the opportunity to work with their clients.  Surrogate photography is by far some of the most invigorating photographic work I get to create for couples.  Here are some of our favorites from a recent fresh 48 session at the hospital with a follow up newborn session at our photography studio.  Within days of these sessions, we designed, created, and printed 100 custom birth announcement cards for the intended parents to share with their friends and family overseas.  The parents and their newborn twins are back in Europe getting settled into life as a family.

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Rampillon - January 18, 2017 - 1:09 am

Adorables et adorés

Identical Twins

I have been fortunate enough to have a number of mentors in my life, many of whom happen to be photographers.  There was my childhood next door neighbor who was a wedding photographer.  He brought me on to perform normal day-to-day office work like sort through negatives, order wedding albums, and help keep things organized.  I was immediately drawn to the work he was doing and very much wanted to learn as much as I could.  He offered me free photo lessons on the side and guided me toward my very first camera purchase.

In high school, I enjoyed learning the fine art side of photography through my wildly talented high school photography teacher.  His whimsical yet demanding approach to learning the medium is where I really found my love for photography.  The weekly photo assignments had me out in the field creating work I never though possible only to then head into the magical darkroom where my visions became reality in the form of black and white photographs.  It was a time when we mixed chemicals, exposed photographic paper to light, and truly made our pictures by hand.  My high school photography teacher and I communicate regularly by phone even to this day.

When it came time to apply for college, there was only one thing I wanted to do and that was pursue photography.  There were a number of colleges to choose from but I set my sights on Bard College in NY.  The highly esteemed department of photography professors pushed my creativity even further and challenged me to create a style and approach to photography that I could claim as my own.  While that is something I continue to strive for even to this day, the knowledge and experiences I gained during those 4 years have served me very well in establishing a career in photography.

It was during my time at Bard College where my interest in identical twins really blossomed.  I spent my entire senior year photographing sets of identical twins.  I recall road trips to various parts of NY, OH, MA, and NJ to meet with and photograph twins of all ages.  It was a photography project that fascinated me greatly and brought me in contact with over 50 sets of identical twins over the years.  Every so often, I learn of more sets of twins and when possible, I take up the opportunity to photograph them.

One of the things all my mentors (and most photographers mention in general) is that it becomes a challenge to balance the demands of owning and operating one’s photography business with the desire to create personal work.  In the early years of building my business, I felt a strong commitment to focus my activities on the business itself.  As time has gone on and my business has leaned more toward supporting itself, I have begun to take greater liberties in pursuing personal work.  It has been very rewarding and in turn, informs and improves the work I create for my clients.

I recently had the opportunity to photograph a 1 year session for Christina’s daughter.  We met at a local park and captured fun portraits of Christina, her husband, and her beautiful daughter.  It as an extremely fun experience and following the session, Christina was kind enough to follow me on Facebook and Instagram.  Of course I made sure to follow back.  I always enjoy seeing people’s comments on the photographs I create for my couples and having the ability to stay connected on what is going on in everyone’s lives.  While scrolling through my Instagram feed one afternoon, I saw Christina post a photo of her with her identical twin.  I nearly passed out with excitement!  Not only because she is an identical twin but because she and her sister look so incredibly alike.  You’d think that after photographing so many sets of identical twins that the novelty of it all would wash a way a bit.  But, not for me.

I reached out to Christina, briefly explained my twins project, and asked if she and her sister might be interested in participating.  Thankfully, they both said yes.  Here are just a couple of my favorites from a portrait session we had together at my studio.  Projects like these inspire me and remind me to keep being creative and to never stop creating new work.

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Portland High School Senior Portraits

Photographing high school senior portraits in and around the Portland area is something we enjoy immensely.  We work directly with the senior and his/her parents to select a location that best speaks to the senior’s personality and interests.  Once the location is chosen, we forward a complimentary What to Wear Guide that offers tips and suggestions on what to wear for the senior photo session.  We recommend that seniors bring 2-4 outfits that they can change in and out of throughout the session to create greater variety to the images that are captured.

We recently met up with Marcus in Lake Oswego to capture his senior portraits at a local park.  While many high school students participate in sports like basketball, football, and volleyball, Marcus focuses on a more unique sport – water polo. In fact, he plans to continue the sport when he goes on to college in California.

Within days of the senior photo session, we provided him and his parents with an online gallery of images to choose from for his yearbook photo.  Inclusive in all of our high school senior sessions is a digital file that is prepared in accordance to the guidelines for each high school’s yearbook requirements.  We handle all the communications with the school and ensure that the file is submitted properly.  One less thing for parents to worry about.  We then meet with the high school senior and his/her parents at our photography studio in NW Portland to review the rest of the work and make ordering decisions for prints, cards, and other products.  To see the wide range of products we offer, check out these high school senior products for your home.

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