It's October, which means family portrait season is in FULL SWING over here! Today's post is a throwback to the start of my fall season. This family came to me in September to update their family photos, and we chose Champoeg State Park just south of Newberg for our location. We started in the gardens, spent some time in front of the barn, and then--lucky for us--the hay bales were out! I think this one of them on the hay bales is my very favorite!
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!
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!
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).
Around TWO YEARS AGO, I decided to start a new series on the blog about some of my favorite locations and why I love them! And then...I did ONE post. One. About the Jenkins Estate, so at least it was one of my very favorite locations, but still. The location series faded away. If you've cruised the blog looking at different portrait session locations, chances are that you've used the sidebar categories and just clicked each location, which is a great way to do it! But, I'm hoping to get a chance to showcase some of my very favorite spots and talk about why each one is a great option! So: the location series is REVAMPED! Hooray!
First up is my newest favorite place since moving to Newberg: Champoeg State Park! It's just a six minute drive south from Newberg, right along the river. It's also super easy to access from I-5 via the Canby/Hubbard exit, and about 10 minutes off I-5. It's the perfect location if you're looking for a session that has a country/rustic feel to it, or if you're looking for a field with tall, natural grass, old oak trees, a barn, or a river.
It's a HUGE state park! If you're coming for just a day trip or spending time after your session here, there are so many great hiking trails, a natural playground area, camping, cabins and yurts, river access, frisbee golf through old oak trees, and a giant dose of history! My husband is a history buff, so you know we spent our first trip out here reading allllll of the signs.
Fabulous things about this location that I love for photo sessions: #1 (of course) is the BARN! A photo session with an old, weathered, rustic barn is ALWAYS one of my favorite things, and this one gets such pretty light! It's surrounded by my next favorite thing at this park: old oak trees! There are so many opportunities to play with sunlight glowing through these oak trees, and they always remind me a little bit of California!
There's also the sweetest little orchard right near the barn, plus a pioneer-style garden!
What??? SO MANY OPTIONS!!! And this is just at the entrance to the park!! We haven't even gone down into the park yet!! This is all right near the parking lot and visitor's center! Some of the fabulousness that happens when you get down farther into the park: big open fields, more giant oak trees...
...and beautiful old steps down to the river and dock!! I love finding new spots near the water, since Oregon City is usually my go-to river spot and that's a little far for me. The dock is definitely not kid-friendly since there's no railing down there, but for Camille and Michael's engagement session, it was a perfect option for waterfront photos!
I know I'm going to keep finding new favorite spots to photograph my clients at Champoeg. There are so many parts of it left to explore!! Ready to check it out with me? Contact me to chat about scheduling a photo session!
This engagement session has been in the works for a while, and I'm so happy to finally share it today! I've been chatting with Lauren and Corey since the fall about their engagement session, and we went from Christmas tree farm to dog park to a forest session and my goodness I am SO GLAD we ended up where we did!! We had a bright, sunny spring day to hike some trails through the forest above Portland and it was amazing! They brought their two puppies and we all hiked around and found beautiful parts of the forest to explore and it felt totally them. I couldn't imagine this session any other way.
Well, we're officially one month in to our Newberg and homeownership adventures, and we are 100%--no, 1000% happy with our decision to move here! As spring FINALLY decides to show up, we're getting to explore more and more of our new town, and it's been a total blast. Champoeg State Park was one of our first introductions to the area, and I went back last weekend for another mini sessions with one of my favorite families. Remember Nicole's mommy and me session two years ago? I'm so glad we got a chance to update their family photos, this time with dad and a little brother too!
I love when my families come back to me for their milestone sessions! This family had an adorable fall session last year, and now their little man is getting ready to turn ONE! So I was super excited to make some portraits at Jenkins Estate for them in celebration!
That shirt!! I loved it! We did a mustache theme for my son's first birthday too. Add in a fabulous pun: Mr. ONEderful??? #favoriteshirt
So I mentioned that I was 100% full blown in LOVE with Champoeg State Park near my brand new home in Newberg, right? It took ONE afternoon for that to happen. One. This particular afternoon, I did a few mini sessions--you saw the first one here, and here's the second mini session! The soft, neutral colors (I stand by the fact that soft blush pink is a neutral color!), lace and tulle details, and the barn and daisies in the landscape---I loved it!
Ready for a country-inspired family photo session at Champoeg Park's barn? Contact me! I do mini sessions anytime!