Timberline Lodge Newborn Session

While many of you know us as wedding photographers, once-upon-a-time we additionally provided wedding videography services as well.  It was an exciting and exhilarating time for our business.  In fact, 6 years ago we had the opportunity to provide wedding videography services for Annique and Jay for their wedding at Timberline Lodge.

We recently received an email from Annique and Jay informing us of the arrival of their newborn daughter Cecelia.  Annique & Jay planned a fun 6 year anniversary trip to Timberline Lodge and wanted to include a newborn session with Cecelia.  She was exactly 6 weeks at the time so the timing was perfect.  We met up with the couple and had the honor of capturing some portraits of the new family of three.  Being able to re-visit some of the places throughout the property where we had captured video on their wedding day 6 years ago was a very neat experience.  I loved the idea and am so glad that Annique & Jay put it all together

Here are some of our favorite images from Cecelia’s newborn session at Timberline Lodge:

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Achieving Goals

This note, on the one hand, is long overdue but at the same time it is also very timely.  It comes not only as we enter into the new year, but also at a time in my life when I have achieved a personal goal I set for myself so long ago.

It is a story I have told many times, but it is one worth repeating, at least here.  I was about 13 years old out front mowing the lawn.  A chore I did week in and week out during the summers.  The next door neighbor came outside one weekend and asked if I might be interested in doing a job that was a bit more interesting than mowing the lawn.  How could I turn down a job offer like that!?

He was a very kind man who also happened to be a wedding photographer.  He needed some help in his studio sorting negatives, placing album orders, and doing general office work.  It was a great job.  I vividly recall him teaching me the way to write the number 7 differently than the number 1 so that no confusion was caused at the lab.  Placing orders for clients was very important.  And like every “t” needs to be crossed and every “i” needs to be dotted, every 7 needs to have a little cross mark designating it as a number that is different from the number 1.  I made sure to do this every single time and I still do to this day.

What was remarkable to me at the time, being a kid, is I thought he just wanted to offer me a job.  But over time, I quickly realized that he wanted to show me a way of life, a way of living, and a way of understanding the world.  I became very fascinated by photography and the work he was doing.  I asked if I were to purchase a camera (and of course which one to buy), might he be willing to do a trade with me for some lessons.  His response is that he preferred to keep paying me AND teach me lessons.  I was in heaven.  I remember everything he taught me, the helpful critiques, and the challenges to make me see the world better.

I had the opportunity to transfer into a better high school my sophomore year where there was a lot of buzz about a rigorous photography program.  It was Mr. Bouchal’s first year teaching.  It was my first opportunity to really learn about seeing creatively.  This was over 20 years ago and we still to this day speak frequently by phone.  It was in his class that my love for photography truly blossomed.  Hanging out in the darkroom, processing film, smelling like chemicals…I loved all of it.

Then, of course, I had to pursue it in college as well.  For me, there was no other option other than to obtain a degree in photography.  It was what I obsessed over for 4 years.  I loved it.

Then I moved out to Portland from the east coast.  Packed my car with as much as I could fit and hit the road.  I remember the order of priorities.  First pack the camera gear, then the portfolios, then the cds (yes they were cds back then), and then my clothes, and then any extras.  It was tightly packed and all that I needed to set sail.

I arrived in Portland and within a couple of weeks landed a photo assisting job for John Rizzo a local photographer who happened to originally be from Boston (my home town).  That connection was all that was needed.  The original offer was just for some part time work, maybe a week or so’s worth.  On the third day, he offered me a full time assisting position.  I quickly learned a very different side to photography, the world of commercial photography, and the trials and tribulations of running and operating your own business.  I had never experienced anything so intense in my entire life.  It is incredibly demanding, all encompassing, and in the rare circumstances when done well, it is very fulfilling and rewarding.  I gobbled this experience up and developed a dream and a desire to one day own my own photography studio.  This was around 1998.  The job was the perfect trifecta of my educational background, experience in the field, and loose knowledge of operating a business.  I had the seedlings of what ultimately became Paul Rich Studio.

Just prior to 2005, I began slowly acquiring photography gear looking at the idea of trying to build a business.  I launched the idea of myself as a wedding photographer through word-of-mouth and photographed a total of 6 weddings that year.  I learned a lot that year and felt the potential for a lot more.  The following year, spending a bit more in advertising and building some momentum, I photographed 12 weddings.  The year after that 24.  It literally doubled each time the first 3 years.

It was time to sever my ties with the day job world and really make this thing go.  It was August 7, 2007.  A day I celebrate each year.

Becoming self-employed felt like the realization of a dream come true.  But I knew there was still one more step to be taken.  I still wanted a place to call my own for my business.

Around 2010, my friend Amy Vining and I, who had been dreaming of a photography studio for years, finally took the plunge and shared a studio space.  It was such an exciting time just going for it and trying to push my business in yet another direction.  I reached out to my newlywed clients and began documenting their growing families.  It was something I wanted to do to continue offering a service to my clients and it felt like a natural extension of what I was already basically doing.  It started off photographing the families of my clients and progressed to their friends and then on to their friend’s friends.  Now I get random calls and emails from people I don’t even know who have seen my portraits in 3 or 4 of their friends homes or have seen my name pop up and now they have to hire me too.  This began happening in 2014.  You know…last year!

So, toward the end of 2014, I decided to take the final leap of faith and am now currently transitioning the main floor of The Bridal Loft into a complete photography studio.  I am still conceptualizing the space and collaborating with my peers at The Loft, but everything is coming along nicely and could be ready as early as Jan 7th.  We will share some completed photos soon once everything is setup.

So, there is a little history right there.  A progression from mowing the lawn in Massachusetts to a portrait studio in NE Portland.  The list of people to thank is extensive — from my old neighbor, to my high school teacher, to my college professors, to all of my parents, family, friends, colleagues and clients.  You have all helped me along in so many ways.

I want to say thank you.

Thank you for the life lessons.  Thank you for the simple teachings.  Thanks for instilling the courage.  Thanks for offering your support.  Thanks for cheering me on and offering sage advice.  Thanks for sharing a tip here and there.  Thanks for the opportunity to capture and document all sorts of wonderful moments in your lives.  Thank you for continuing to spread the word about our services.  Thank you for allowing me to achieve my goals and live out my dream.  I simply cannot thank all of you enough.

I hope you have a wonderful New Year.  May 2015 be a great year for everyone.  I can’t wait for what’s in store.

Please stay in touch with us on our business Facebook page (where we will be announcing incredible specials throughout the year) and make sure to sign up for our newsletter.

 

Cheers!

Kerry Garrow - January 1, 2015 - 12:34 pm

Thanks for sharing your history! What a wonderful and interesting journey. Success in 2015!

Cherie Ronning - January 1, 2015 - 5:44 pm

So impressed and so happy for you!

Joe Rich - January 1, 2015 - 11:27 pm

I am so VERY proud of you and your many accomplishments. You captained your own future, and made it all happen. You choose well, decided well, worked hard for it all. You will also have many more successes, and I hope you take a moment to enjoy each and every one as it comes your way. Love, Dad

Debbie Riggen - January 2, 2015 - 2:50 am

Congratulations, Paul! This is wonderful and so well deserved. I’m glad you left that day job (though we missed you!) and took that leap into a career that you obviously love. I wish you all the best and continued growth and success.

Dee Richardson - January 4, 2015 - 8:26 pm

Love this story. Thanks for sharing!!! Here’s to a GREAT year ahead!!!!

Emee Pumarega - March 10, 2015 - 10:33 pm

wonderful story Paul – we are so happy to have you!

Holiday Family Portrait

We wanted to share a really fun picture that we captured this year for a holiday family portrait.  We gathered up the family of 4 in their backyard and attempted a portrait that included their 4 pets.  For those who have ever attempted to photograph pets, especially 4 in one photo, you know how challenging it can be to pull off successfully.  Well, we were able to do it even with everyone looking at the camera.

But then the request came in to take it to a whole new level.  “Could you place a wreath around one of our dogs?  Or better yet, what about putting a Santa hat on the bigger dog?”  Well, I played with the concept a bit and sent the family a few different variations.  This is the one they chose for their holiday card this year and I absolutely love it!

We are already in talks on how we are going to push the envelope even further next year and I cannot wait.

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Family Portraits in Portland

We’re all familiar with Facebook at this point right?  Well have you heard of the new social network called Nextdoor?  Think Facebook meets your neighborhood.  That’s right.  It is a social network for neighborhood communities.  So rather than stay in touch with those around the world, which unto itself is quite amazing, now you can connect, share, and collaborate with those much closer to you.

I recently joined Nextdoor and knowing that the holidays were right around the corner, I offered a family portrait special for all my neighbors.  Within minutes I received an inquiry.

This family had once lived in Portland, moved to New Orleans years ago, and only recently just moved back to Portland.  I suggested that we meet at Cathedral Park to capture the St Johns Bridge in the background of their family portraits.  When I threw out the idea of capturing a portrait on the bridge, everyone was on board, and I have to say, it is one of my favorite images from the session.  Portland has so many unique bridges.  Why not include them in a family portrait session?

Here are some highlights from this recent family portrait session:

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Family Portraits at Home

I absolutely adore this family.  This beautiful trio of little ones was an absolute blast to photograph.

I am sure you recognize the couple.  We photographed Kylene & Jacob’s wedding many years ago at Kruger’s Farm.  We have also photographed their first son and daughter on a number of occasions.  Then, with the latest addition to the family, it was the perfect time to get together and capture even more portraits.

When the littlest one was napping, I would capture him in a variety of poses.  He would wake up and red to be fed, so I would hang out with the other two.  Then, to give them a break, I would focus on the littlest one again.  Over and over the cycle went until everyone had their chance to be photographed.  And of course, we had to capture everyone together too and I think that photo is my most favorite of all.  Enjoy!

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Portraits by the Oregon Zoo

When Katie contacted us about capturing portraits of her with her son Rowen, I knew the perfect location for the photo shoot.  There is an area between the Oregon Zoo and Hoyt Arboretum that is perfect for capturing portraits.  In fact, it is a relatively small area but it offers a myriad of backdrop options that are just perfect.

Rowen and I immediately became best buddies.  I had him laughing, jumping, and running all over the place.  Well, I guess he probably does plenty of that on his own accord, but still, it made for some great captured moments.  Nothing like a bit of hide-and-seek and tag to really kick things into gear.  Plus Rowen’s innate sense of adventure really made for some fun photos.

Here are some of our favorite images from our portrait session with Katie & Rowen:

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Family Portraits in Portland

There is no better time than the holiday season, when family members fly in from out of town, to have professional family portraits.  Whether it is immediate or extended family, consider using this time of year as an opportunity to capture some family portraits in Portland.

Some families choose an outdoor location like Hoyt Arboretum, Washington or Laurelhurst Park.  Other families choose an area like the Portland waterfront or the Pearl District to capture something a bit more hip and urban.  Portland is known for its bridges, so why not a location like Cathedral Park or the area surrounding the Hawthorne Bridge?  What about the brand new Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People?  I cannot wait to capture portraits along that bridge.  It is scheduled to open in Sept of 2015.  Maybe you could be the first family to have their portraits captured on the bridge?!?!?

Another option for families is our photography studio.  Having an indoor location is also perfect for this time of year.  You don’t have to worry about scheduling and re-scheduling your photo session.  With our photography studio, we have the option of capturing your family portraits right in our studio.  The options are endless.  Why not schedule your session today?

Here are a few highlights from a recent portrait session at our photography studio:

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