When we first started planning their engagement session, Shellie and Kevin wanted to be sure we'd be someplace where we could show their love of the outdoors--especially somewhere near the water. We chose Champoeg State Park for their barn, garden, and river access--and what a fun time we had there!
Over the Independence Day weekend, I was lucky enough to spend some time with Ryan and Miya for their engagement session at Dawson Creek Park in Hillsboro! It was a whirlwind weekend for them as they worked family celebrations and wedding to-dos in between travel schedules, but I'm so glad we were able to make time for an engagement session! Miya also used the day of the session for her wedding hair and makeup trial, which, as you can see, was a BEAUTIFUL idea! I loved walking Dawson Creek Park with these two and chatting with Ryan, who grew up in Hillsboro, about how much that area has changed--that area was all FIELDS when my family moved up here in 1996. I'm glad some of that natural beauty has remained as they've built the area up--we walked around the pond, checked out a field, and then ended in the forest!
I'm back from a nice long holiday weekend with the family and I'm excited to share Kailey and Andrew's Champoeg State Park engagement session on the blog today! We shot this on a suuuuper hot day but we were able to hit all of the must-have locations on Kailey's list--the barn, the giant oak trees, and the field!
This sweet family was so, so patient for their session! Somehow, even though we kept scheduling our Cooper Mountain Nature Park session for mid-June evenings, we kept getting rained out! And not just a little rained out...RAINED out! Thunder and lightning storms in the forecast? I'll pass on that hilltop session, thanks.
So when our third try at scheduling rolled around and it was sunny, we were THRILLED! Bring on the wildflowers and the ring around the rosie games, it's a family photo session at the park in summertime!
It's been a season of extended family sessions this month! I think there's no better time to book a portrait session for your family than when your in-laws or parents come to town! I know I treasure photos of me as a child with my grandparents, and I think it's such a wonderful gift to give your own kids.
I met this sweet family (who you may remember from their fabulous fall session here) in Tigard at Summerlake Park for their session this week. The girls picked flowers and brought their matching unicorn stuffed toys along for the adventure!
Next up as part of my location series, where I showcase my very favorite locations for portrait sessions--Rood Bridge Park!! This park was a favorite of mine when we first moved up here and my son was a baby, because there are large paved paths that go in a big loop, so it was perfect for long stroller walks! After I shot a vow renewal at the River House here in 2015, I started shooting portrait sessions here and now I love shooting here! There are some beautiful stone accents through the whole park, plus a tiny little forest with a stream running through it that gets the MOST magical light ever. It's also one of my favorite locations for clients in Hillsboro who are looking to stick close to home--it's just on the south edge of Hillsboro near Hillsboro High School and Meriwether Golf Club. It's a perfect option if you're looking for a forest location on the west side without having to go in to Forest Park! Fewer crowds, shorter drive, and the trees and light are just as beautiful!
I love these stone steps! And the park is a favorite for dog-owners because it's so large with plenty of room to walk!
If you happen to be there in late summer, there's a good chance we'll be able to find some tall grass to shoot in, which you KNOW is my favorite!
Ready to book a photo session at Rood Bridge Park? Contact me today to chat!
Extended family sessions are so fun! A lot of times, I think families really only get professional photos of the WHOLE family---grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, grandkids, everyone--at weddings. Which is awesome and obviously something I enjoy, BUT--there's a whole lot of life that happens before and after weddings! There's nothing better than photos like these to go up on the walls while your kids are growing up!
These two kids? GOT A PUPPY the day before our session!! And brought her to be in some of the photos!! Is that the most adorable puppy ever?? She's so SMALL and fluffy!!!!
Whenever I get a wedding photography inquiry from a potential client, I always set up a time for us to meet each other over coffee (well, chai latte for this non-coffee drinker) and just chat! Since I spend your WHOLE wedding day by your side, it's super important that we fit well with each other! Anyway, the very first thing I like to ask couples when I meet them is about their love story! I'm a total sucker for a good how we met story, and I'm always blown away by the range of stories I hear! Literally--no two are the same!!
Well after years of asking other people about their how we met stories...I thought it was time to share how my husband and I met! I've been waiting for today to share since today is our anniversary! We've been married for 7 years today, but telling the story never gets old! Plus...writing this post meant that I got to look through all of our old photos!
That photo on the top right there? That's us on our first date!! We went salsa dancing with some of my roommates, and I'm so, so glad I made my roommate take that photo! But, backing up--we met in a BAR!! Ha! So classy. I was in grad school at UC Davis, and he had just graduated and was working in town. And, it just so happened that one of his good friends was also in my graduate program--so when a big group of us went out one night, he invited Brian to come along, and the rest is history!
He introduced himself, and as we were talking, I mentioned I wanted to go to a salsa dancing night in town. He said that he'd been looking for a salsa dancing partner and I knew I wanted him to be my dance partner!
Well, a while later, he joined my roommates and I at the salsa dancing night and THAT'S when I found out...he had very specifically said that he was looking for a salsa dancing partner...NOT that he KNEW HOW to salsa dance. Ha! I remember, as we were dancing, mentioning that they did lessons if you came to salsa night an hour before it started and he said..."Nah, I'm good" as he did his own version of definitely NOT salsa dancing. And we had the BEST time. The confidence on this man!
The rest really is history--he proposed at Santa Cruz a year and a half later, and then a year and a half after THAT, we got married at the botanical gardens in Dunsmuir, California. That's the photo on the left (thanks, Essence Photography!)--it was 1 million degrees and I wore a satin ballgown, but it was still the best day ever. Every wedding I've been to since (and there's been a few) reminds me of that day, and the feeling of excitement and a brand new season of life. Seven years and two kids later (that's the photo on the bottom right--thanks Sarah Morace Photography!), I'm amazed at how almost every single thing in our lives has changed, and also nothing has changed--I still love dancing with this man (and salsa dancing lessons still have not happened).
I love photographing weddings. There's the excitement and joy of the ceremony, the crazy fun of the reception, and all day, that sense of the start of a new season in the couples' lives. Watching my wedding couples start their lives together on that first day as a married couple never, ever gets old. And when my wedding couples come back to me for family photos with their new little babies? Best. Thing. Ever.
Travis and Trini's wedding at Bridgeport Brewing (and their epic ROCK CLIMBING reception) was one for the books. Documenting their new lives as parents of a sweet little girl at their home was even better.
And of COURSE we didn't forget to include their pup, the star of their engagement session at Rood Bridge Park!
It's the first full week of June, and even though we're having a rainy spell right now, it definitely has started to FEEL like summer, finally! I'm pretty sure we just skipped right over spring, but that's fine with me--summer's my favorite anyway!
I thought I'd take a quick break from sharing all of the beautiful sessions that have been happening lately to share some of the things going on in my life this month! I haven't been doing this a ton recently, and in the last year our family grew by one brand new baby girl, we moved to Newberg from Hillsboro, AND we bought our first house!! Some of that made it into the newsletter, but most of it didn't...so I'm trying to be more intentional about sharing my life with you all---at least a few times a month, and not, you know, six months after giant life changes!
Three Things I Love About JUNE:
1. STRAWBERRY SEASON!!! Finally!! I love love LOVE u-pick season here in the Willamette Valley, and strawberry season is usually the kickoff for us! My kiddo loves the tractors and farm animals, I love being out on a farm in the sunshine, and our whole family loves the fresh fruit!! We used to go to Sauvie Island (one of my favorite places in the whole world) all the time when we were in Hillsboro, but now being in Newberg we'll discover some new places! We've been to Smith Berry Barn in Scholls a few times in the past, and that's first on our list. If you have any favorite spots---I'd love to hear them!
2. Reading on the patio! Is this officially a hobby the way knitting is a hobby? Sitting on the patio on a sunny day and reading a book is my official hobby, at least! I was an English major so of course reading is my favorite thing to do--and we're at the sweet spot where the baby still naps and the 4 year old can play on his own, so that means I even occasionally have time to read! I lean more towards easy mysteries these days since they're perfect for reading a chapter here and there when I have time (Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, and Marcia Muller, anyone?), but the start of summer ALWAYS calls for my all-time favorite author, Joan Didion. She's from Sacramento and everything about her writing reminds me of California in the most beautiful way possible.
3. Day trips and adventures!! We don't have any huge vacations planned this month, but we'll be doing plenty of adventuring whenever we can. We spent some time last weekend checking out the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport for the first time, which for my shark-loving kid was a blast!! I graduated from Oregon State in 2006, and Newport was always our go-to day trip from Corvallis. I hadn't been back since '06 though, so it was super fun to see how much Newport has grown and changed!
What are you looking forward to this month?