This spring I attended a networking event that featured a number of local non-profit organizations. Though I’ve lived in Portland for more than four years, I hadn’t heard of any of them! The first one really piqued my interest–The Children’s Book Bank. I love books, I love kids, I love literacy, and I love anything that connects all of those things. I chatted with Todd for awhile and we met a couple times over the summer to talk about ways to work together. The first collaboration was with another business that does all those things–Green Bean Books. It’s a small, adorable children’s bookstore on NE Alberta. They have a great selection of books and small toys for kids of all ages, and they have a sweet little patio for outside reading, and they host readings/authors/fun events every month too. If you’ve never been, definitely check it out! All the parents loved looking at the shelves just as much as the kids, if not more. 🙂
So we created reading mini-sessions: photographed by me at Green Bean Books, with a credit to buy a book there, with part of the session fee benefiting the Book Bank. Again, all the great things together, now in photos: kids and books, and helping more kids get books. That’s what I call a win-win. And a third win is how wonderful it was to meet these lovely families and work with Jennifer at Green Bean Books. I’m hoping we’ll do another round of these in 2017, so make sure you’re on the newsletter to get updates.
Basically, this Portland Sunset Maternity photography session was a dream. I’m so excited to share it! Jess was expecting her second child and really wanted to do some special portraits to honor it. She was interested in sunsets and silhouettes, and I thought that sounded amazing too. Here in Portland, it’s hard to get a clear sunset without either the city, or some hills and mountains in the way. So I started looking around for parks and places to get a good sunset view. I read about Skidmore Bluffs, which neither of us had actually seen before, and we decided to try it. It’s a really small, skinny park in inner Northeast Portland, literally on a cliff indeed, just at the end of a residential street. Not a standard park like you’re used to, but it had a perfect view across the river. (It also overlooks a trainyard, so if you have a toddler it might be a great place to go, as long as you ensure no one goes over the cliff, of course.)
We met in the middle of a gorgeous golden hour, so I wanted to take advantage of some of the foliage to create some images with that amazing rim light and flare. Then we moved to the clear-sky view as the sun went down. We did a few partial and full silhouettes, and some AMAZING flare came out. I also set up an umbrella to get a different look with the red maternity gown. I was squealing all over the place because it was all just so beautiful and amazing. See for yourself:
Becca’s parents were having a birthday, and all the families were gathering (some from out of state) in Portland to celebrate together. And photographs to commemorate the occasion was a perfect way to enhance the celebration. The Cathedral Park extended family photography session was basically a family love fest hang-out. Pretty great way to spend the day!
The three families have children ranging in age from three to twelve, and they were all so amazing together. They played together–Statues in the Park, tag, frisbee–so well that I would have thought it was a group of neighborhood friends. These cousins are so lucky to have one another! They all get together once or twice a year and it’s obvious that it’s a special time for all of them. Becca and Eric have three-year-old twins. And you know how much I love twins! Three-year-olds can be fickle, but they’re always adorable, and their unpredictability makes for a fun challenge. Basically, making funny faces, chasing and tickling. 🙂
We had a series of posed portraits of the different family groupings to start our session, and then had some more relaxed time. The families split up among different activities, so I alternated between them all. We were at Cathedral Park, which has much to offer a large family gathering. For pictures, the platform with the gorgeous bridge architecture. For eating, picnic tables and space for grills and blankets. For playing, plenty of open space in sun and in shade. The families brought some fun stuff–food to eat, croquet to play, balls and frisbees.
You’ll see with these photos how much love these families have for each other, and what a wonderfully fun day it was! I was honored to be there with them. Thank you, Sameck Families!
What a lovely morning I had at this Vancouver family photography session!
Lindsey and Dan live in Camas, and had the great idea to do our session at Fort Vancouver. I hadn’t been there before, but I’m glad to know about it now! There’s a giant field, all wide open space. Perfect for toddlers who like to run around in circles. 🙂 Claire was such an explorer–she wanted to look and move around. She touched the trees, and climbed up onto a picnic table (and would have run right off if Dan hadn’t caught her! which then became a most fun game), and especially loved the gazebo. She ran back and forth between her parents, and peered out from between the rails. Just too cute.
Little Claire is two years old. She has an infectious grin, she has teeny tiny little pigtails, she loves her Olivia pig, and she loves to read. They brought a few of her favorite books and a picnic blanket, so after a bit of the running, it was time for something quieter. They all sat down and read together. I love seeing toddlers with books–their little hands touching the pages, big smiles and giggles when they see their favorite pages. And families reading together always makes me happy, so it’s one of my favorite moments to capture in a session.
This is a stylish family. Notice their beautifully coordinated outfits! They’ve been working on renovating their house for a few years, which was an old school! They’ve done an incredible job; it’s just gorgeous inside, like a Pinterest board. And the best part is that they added a large canvas photo from our session to their wall by the staircase. I love that we create not just fond memories, but beautiful prints and wall art that will be enjoyed every day for years.
Thank you, Lindsey, Dan, and Claire!
I was so honored and excited to photograph one of my favorite families again, Jessica and Alan. I’ve known them for a long time and feel so lucky to get to capture them as bigger kids. (Check out their one-year session!) They welcomed their third child, Henry this summer. The twins, Will and Emily, are just a bit younger than my own twins, so I have always enjoying seeing and photographing them, because it’s just like playing at home. And they know me and are already comfortable with me, which makes things easier and more smooth. Mainly because they know I always have toys. 🙂 This lifestyle newborn and family photography session was a TON of fun.
This was kind of like two sessions in one–part of the time I was capturing sweet baby Henry, on his own or with his family, and the other part of the time I was chasing after Will and Emily, capturing their spirit, energy, and personality. Basically, it was a super playful and sweet session for all. 🙂
The session was at their home, so they were comfortable, and all of their favorite things were there. We started in their living room on their couch and big chair, with their favorite books nearby. The big kids read to baby Henry, and gave him kisses and snuggles, and we grownups all melted into little puddles of goo. Later we moved to their amazing backyard (which Jessica had been creating/overseeing while pregnant)–lush grass, a new swingset, tons of toys, and raised garden beds full of tasty veggies. The kids played on the swingset, and Daddy tossed them up in the air, and they got some of their favorite outdoor toys. What better portrait of a three-year-old boy than surrounded by his trucks?! [By the way, for the photos of all five family members, I was wielding a toy shark that bites, while wearing a swaddle blanket tied around my head. I have no shame when it comes to entertaining my subjects–I know I may look ridiculous but it’s always worth it for the big smiles (from the kids, the grown-ups, and me too!).] We ended the session back inside on the couch, with Mommy quietly reading to the kids.
As you can see, this is a family that is full of love and enjoyment, and it is such a pleasure to be around them and to photograph them!
Thank you so much, Jessica & Alan!!