Where have you been?

I’ve heard this question a whole lot in the last little while. Since the kids have been out from school, so much has changed and so many exciting things are happening, not just with my photography business, but in our personal lives as well.

In June, my husband launched into a startup project (Come Hire Me, go sign up and show him some love!) that kind of upended our lives a little bit. His private beta launched just this week and I could not be more proud of him.

That being said, many of my friends and clients have noticed that I’ve been making myself scarce. With Garrett working literally 20 hour days for the last two months, my primary focus has been making sure that everyone is taken care of. Obviously, this meant limiting my clients to my existing commitments only, which is tough for me.

As we get out of the “hard” part once the kids are back to school, I’ll be taking on my regular workload (hooray!) just in time for the busy season. As of right now, I currently only have two openings available for September and three in October, so if you’re looking to have family photographs done for the fall and holidays, snap them up!

In the meantime, I will leave you with this sweet newborn baby boy from over the weekend. I miss this sooooooooo much!

Portland Newborn Photographer

family photography vs. the heat wave

Guess who won?

Yep, me. This gorgeous family flew in from North Carolina to see me in the middle of an insane heat wave. On this particular day, they had even closed the Wilsonville Farmer’s Market because it was going to be a whopping 114 degrees. Not to mention, Mom let me know that we needed to have her family portraits wrapped up by 2pm.

What’s a photographer to do? Be awesome, that’s what. We shot in the morning, crossed our fingers the kids would accept our bribes and this was the beautiful end result. Love this crew and I am SO excited to see them again soon!

Portland Family Photographer

 

To My Children, On Mother’s Day

Yesterday, we went to the beach. (See? The beach. Jellyfish make your brother uneasy, can you tell?)

Family Pictures Portland

I had to drive home by myself, because I had to work and the three of you and Daddy were visiting your cousins. You had a good time, Daddy told me so.

As I made my way along the long, winding road, I decided that I needed a little music in my life (as I always seem to), so I turned on the radio, and Taylor Swift crooned at me through the speakers. I turned up the volume and took a peek into my rear view mirror to see if Lana was going to dance with me.

Except Lana wasn’t there. Neither was Levi. Neither was Hanna.

I was by myself.

I started to cry, and I turned off Taylor Swift. It didn’t make sense to dance alone.

Sometimes, it isn’t good to be by yourself when you feel sad.

I thought about how Hanna asked me 82736493 times if I liked her hair that morning. Of course I do Hanna, I am the one who did it for you.

Portland Oregon Professional Photographer

This is Hanna. She’s my oldest. She’s super awesomely fantastic.

I thought about how Levi kept telling me his shoe had died in the car on the way to the beach. I told him that I was so sorry that his shoe had died and that it was very sad. Lana started giggling in the third row.

“What’s so funny, Lana?”

“Mom, he is telling you his shoe is UNTIED”

Whoops.

Portland Family Photographer

Mom’s funny, huh, Duckie? You’re a good big sister.

I thought about how tired I looked when I woke up in the morning. Levi is undecided on whether or not he needs to keep that last nap (please, for the love of all things holy, don’t ditch that nap), and he’s been a bit testy lately. Garrett and I aren’t getting a whole lot of sleep.

Portland Baby Pictures

You’re so cute when you sleep Levi.

Thinking about the kids makes me think about my husband.

Family Pictures Portland Oregon

He’s pretty darn handsome. You’ll have to take my word for it.

I remembered that tomorrow would be Mother’s Day. Suddenly, I wanted nothing more than to turn the car around, speed back to Uncle Glenn’s house and scoop all three of you up in my arms.

Did I tell you I loved you enough times before I left? Were you still upset with me for raising my voice to you that morning? Did you still hate my guts for not letting you go play with your friends after we found food in your room (again)? Would you forgive me (eventually) for taking your computer away after we caught you playing Minecraft when you should have been doing your homework?

I pulled up to the house and my phone let me know that I had a text message waiting. I’m pretty sure I always have a text message waiting.

It was from my husband. Well, our oldest daughter, who had my husband’s phone.

It was a selfie, with her Dad driving next to her, and her younger brother and sister sleeping in the backseat.

I smiled.

I’m going to ground you plenty. I’m going to make you cry, hurt your feelings (not on purpose, mind you), enforce the rules, encourage you to make better decisions, take your toys and privileges away and make you do your chores.

That’s my job. That’s what I signed up for.

And you might be celebrating me tomorrow. Ya’ll might make me breakfast (thanks, honey), clean the house and take me out to lunch, but I have a secret.

I celebrate you guys every single day.

See all those photos up there? They are all teenie, tiny little celebrations. They remind me of just how much love there is in our family. They remind me of the first time I held all of you in my arms. The scrapes I’ve bandaged up, tears I’ve wiped away, sharpie I have cleaned off of the walls (thanks for that by the way, Levi), nail polish I’ve painstakingly removed off of my leather dining room chairs (looking at you, Lana) and chocolate wrappers I’ve cleaned out of underwear drawers (ahem, Hanna).

So, thank you my darling children. Thank you for making me a Mother. One day, your kids will celebrate you and I hope you feel every bit as lucky and blessed as I do today, and every single other day of our lives together.

And by the way, I’ll take my breakfast and my iced coffee on the front patio.

 

 

God

When I first started out in the photography business, one of the first things that I was told was not to drag my personal life into my work. Of course I was conflicted because my work is an extension of me, and all of my emotions, feelings and experiences. I am convinced that I would be a very different photographer if I had not led the life I have.

I think that the same rings true for everyone, especially creative professionals. We are a summation of all of the things that we have experienced, and whether directly or indirectly, and that includes our relationship with God (or Buddha, or the Universe, or whatever higher power works for you).

You see, God is something that I was told to absolutely never talk about in my business. My clients have different beliefs than me, but so do my family and friends. Even my husband has a different religious upbringing than I do. I have healthy respect for and, happy relationships with all of these people. I do have a relationship with God, and I am tired of being told that it is inappropriate to bring Him into the conversation. None of what I have accomplished would have been possible without Him, so why can’t I acknowledge that?

While I am responsible for honing my skills and abilities, they were given to me. The stunning family portraits of your children may have been taken by me, but that wouldn’t have been possible if the gifts hadn’t been given to me.

So, if you’re someone who wants to hand out business advice, don’t tell people to keep their lives out of it.

My life is why I am here.

My life is why I do what I do.

My life includes God.

And if that’s not okay with you, and you turn your back on me because of what I believe, or elect not to hire me because you don’t believe in God, guess what? That’s totally okay. I still think you’re awesome.

But, I would rather side with someone who isn’t afraid to be who they are and stand up for what they believe in any day of the week rather than someone who says nothing in the best interest of playing it safe.

Playing it safe never moved me forward or helped me grow personally.

What did playing it safe ever do for you?

Bring God into it. Bring your pain into it, your happiness, your family, your fears and your dreams (but maybe leave the drama at home).

You’ll be amazed at what happens when you start living authentically instead of trying to live out someone else’s idea of what your business should look like.

Baby Photographer Oregon

Family Photography At It’s Finest

As photographers, we put our heart and souls into our work. Being a creative is difficult, mostly because we are emotionally attached to our clients, and the way we display their beauty to the world. I can’t even count the number of times that I have poured over my own work, letting my insecurities seep in. Do those catchlights look right? Is that line too hard? Am I pushing the boundaries of my artistic abilities?

Then, you go through a gallery and find family photographs like this. And you laugh your head off in the middle of a Starbucks. And all is right in the world.

Family Pictures Portland