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Ashley and Forest’s Engagement Session in Battle Ground, WA

Ashley and Forest are getting married this weekend in Amboy, WA, so what better time to share their engagement session than now!

Their families have been in the Battle Ground area for quite a while, so long that they owned one of the local building suppliers that have been in the area for a long time. It’s since been shut down, but the property, buildings, and the wood kiln are still there, but it made the perfect backdrop for their session.

I love it when couples include some family history in their sessions!

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Taylor and Kade’s Engagement Session at Moulton Falls Park

Taylor knew precisely where she wanted her engagement session and then asked if I had ever been to Moulton Falls before. I then informed her where I live and that it’s basically my backyard!

Moulton Falls is a squat little waterfall with these really cool lava rock formations all around it. You have to be really careful climbing around on them in the rain.

At first, I wondered if they would reschedule due to the gloom and rain, but we showed up, and it came out PERFECT!

I love the colors, mood, and tone that came out for these two!

The DiFabio Family at the trails at WSU Vancouver

I love when I get to photograph families growing from year to year!

The DiFabio family was one of the first families that entrusted me with capturing their family, so it’s always great to see them (almost) yearly. When they contacted me again for this year, we went away from our usual locations and headed up to the trails at WSU on a gorgeous fall afternoon.

I seriously love hanging out with these guys.

Claire and Andy’s Portland,OR Engagement Session

What is a better time to post an engagement session than a week after their wedding!

Claire and Andy are from the midwest and wanted to show off Portland to all of their family that still lived there. So, we made a map and hit some of the spots they wanted to show off—Cathedral Park, Forest Park, the Pittock Mansion, and then down to the Portland Waterfront.

It was the perfect time in the fall, so we caught some of the leaves blowing about at Cathedral Park. Oh, and those arches, those gorgeous, gorgeous arches.

With the hills around the park, the light there acts different than in other places and causes this glow that I just love.

Once we hiked up and down the park, we loaded up and started driving through Forest Park. We didn’t have a destination in mind but didn’t have time to hike down to the Witches Castle. But we did find this gated road surrounded by colorful trees. Bonus, no one else was around! Hard to find in that park on a fall weekend.

Next stop? The Pittock Mansion.

This mansion was once the home of the founder of the Oregonian, Henry Pittock, and his wife Georgiana, who helped found the Rose Festival that Portland is known for.

While you can go inside the house to tour it, they don’t allow portrait sessions unless you go through a lengthy permit process. But the grounds outside? Absolutely.

There are a few spots here that I love. The first is the main viewpoint. You can look over the city and towards Mount Hood from this spot. A lot of images are captured during sunrise here.

Georgiana was an avid gardener, and the park’s department does a great job keeping them up. So strolling through the paths, you can find some great backdrops and architecture.

On the backside of the property, the forest park trails link up, and you can jump back on them and hike back down if you want.

Last stop? The Portland waterfront along the Willamette River and the steel bridge.

There are so many bridges in Portland, but I love the look of the Steel Bridge and the park below it. The sun was starting to set, and the cold winds were beginning to kick up by this time. So we tried to make this as quick as possible so that Claire wouldn’t freeze.

Congrats to these two as they just got married on the first! I promise, i’ll share their wedding as well.

The Zezima Family at Fallen Leaf Park in Camas, WA

What’s a great way to celebrate family when they fly from Hawaii to see you? A family session, of course!

I met this wonderful family along the shores of Fallen Leaf State Park and had a blast, even if one of the little ones didn’t feel like wanting her picture taken that day. We worked everyone in together, and at the end, she showed me her smile.

What a great family to work with, and I’ll be back at this lake to check it out with my kayak!

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Eva and Mika’s Epic Bash at The Foundry in Lake Oswego

It’s been a rough few years, but Eva and Mika really wanted to celebrate their marriage with friends and family. The two of them actually live in Chicago right now as Eva attends medical school, but they decided to have a destination wedding with friends and family out here in Portland, OR.

After a few Zoom meetings and emails, things were set at they were having their bash at The Foundry in Lake Oswego, just outside of Portland, Or.

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With the pandemic still in effect, this doctor and scientist wanted to make it as safe as possible for everyone, so after my associate photographer Jen and I passed our rapid testing at the door and were confirmed to be vaccinated, we headed in to start capturing the action.

We walked in to an epic sushi feast that Eva was having with her wedding party.

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Mika had not yet arrived at the venue, so we stole the dress while we could and found some trees outside that could provide an excellent framework to highlight the details and colors on this dress. Look at that embroidery!

Vancouver wa wedding 
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We hid the dress away again; the girls’ hair and makeup were in full action as Mika was arriving. Jen and I floated back and forth to photograph everything we could. At The Foundry, the rooms to get ready in are right next to each other. It was not an issue for Eva and Mika as the wedding party went back and forth, and Mika even came over to get opinions from Eva. Once Eva started to get into her dress is, when we banned him, she still wanted to surprise him with her wedding dress.

The groomsmen were ready, and we wanted to set up for the first look, so Jen took them outside to get some fun shots together while we were wrapping up inside.

Once they were all ready, we stepped outside and setup for the first look. I think Mika approves of the dress.

After the first look, Eva and Mika got tucked away while guests started to arrive, and Jen and I got ready to photograph the ceremony.

The Foundry has a neat viewpoint that looks over the water while you say your vows. It can also be tricky to photograph everything here, especially if you don’t have an associate photographer.

I stationed upfront and tucked down in front of the first row, and Jen stayed along the walkway in the back. This way, we could photograph them down the aisle.

Vancouver wa wedding 
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Vancouver wa wedding 
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With lots of sweet words from many during the ceremony, it was super sweet, and everyone enjoyed watching these two get married.

Vancouver wa wedding 
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Mazel Tov!

Vancouver wa wedding 
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Vancouver wa wedding 
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I like to keep close family members and the wedding party near the alter after the wedding. This way, we can roll right into the formal portraits, and we don’t have to hunt cocktail hour for the missing family members.

During the cocktail party was just getting started.

After everyone got their fill at dinner, then came the fun and games!

When speeches rolled around, there was plenty of laughter and tears, butt you know its serious when there is a power point presentation!

And of course, dancing comes next. Between the choreographed family dance with Eva and her family, the sweetness with Mika and her, and then the rushing to the dancefloor for the Hora, we were all over!

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What an amazing night celebrating these two! We wish you all the happiness!

Tips on Planning Your Engagement Session

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now comes the time for all the wedding planning, one of the steps in booking your photographer and scheduling your engagement session.

Some photographers include engagement sessions with their packages, and some charge separately, so make sure you get that clarified with whomever you choose. This is also the perfect chance to see how you and your photographer work together. You’ll be together with your photographer for the majority of your wedding day, so an engagement session is a perfect way to gauge if you can be completely relaxed and enjoy your day.

Location

One of the biggest choices, is where you’d like to have your engagement session. It could be a special place to like the spot you met, where you love to hang out together, or just chosen for the backdrop.

If you don’t have a location in mind, I can help you out. We can talk about what your dream engagement session looks like and find the perfect spot for you.

What to Wear

If you know me, I am NOT the one to ask about fashion. I am a jeans, tee-shirt, and converse kind of gal. But this tells you the answer to this question.

Instagram influencers may say one thing, but I say, wear what’s comfortable. Wear what is you.

The only advice that I give my clients on clothing is to avoid busy patterns or super bright clothing. Those can distract from what the image is about, which is you.

If we’re in a natural setting and you want a calm vibe, wear other natural colors. Want to stand out? Bring in complimentary but bold colors that are not there.

Try to keep things simple, and that makes you who you are.

But We’re So Akward!

Good! So am I.

You’re probably worried about posing and how you’ll come across on camera. That’s why I am here and do what I do.

After years of anxiety and research, I have found the perfect way to get images of you laughing, having fun, and relaxing. And that’s by doing those exact things.

You see all those images online with the perfect pose and pin it in hopes that you’ll get that exact image during your session. Well, you won’t. You can spend an hour trying to get the perfect pose, but it won’t be the same image. With photography, ten different photographers can photograph you simultaneously, and all get different results. So, with that in mind, kick back and have fun!

How I work is that I get you in a relaxed, natural pose and try to tell you the WORST jokes possible. Not only does this help you relax, but it also gets authentic reactions, and that’s what you see in those images you love so much.

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Timing

Not only for the engagement session itself but also datewise, so you get them in time if you are using them for Save the Dates.

Let’s talk about timing for the day. First, are you a morning person or an evening person? Second, are you wanting the sunrise/sunset in the images?

Both of those are very valid as even though I use artificial lighting, it’s just like posing. Sure, we can fake it, but why not get the real thing if we can.

Now I know, living in the Pacific Northwest, it can be hard to guess if we’ll see any sun at all, but that is also why I am flexible on booking and can usually change dates and times around to get you the feeling that you want to your session.

I suppose you’ve heard the phrase “golden hour,” it’s true.

About an hour after sunrise and an hour before sunset give that gorgeous golden light that we all love. But depending on where your session is, the light will start later or disappear earlier. Places surrounded by hills, like Columbia Gorge and Cathedral Park, you’ll want to start about an hour before you would find at other locations as the sun rises/falls behind the hills. The best advice for all of this is to keep open communication with me to make sure you get exactly what you want.

Now for date wise. I believe the current recommendation for Save-the-Dates is to send them about six months before your wedding date. You’ll need some time to design them, and of course, images to use on them.

My turnaround time for you to receive your engagement photos is two weeks from the date of the session. You’ll receive a link a day or so after your session with a quick sneak peek of a few images from the day. That link will host the rest of your pictures. If you also booked your wedding with me, your wedding images will go here as well, just separated into folders.

From your gallery, you will be able to download your images and then use them to create your Save-the-Dates!

If you booked just the engagement session, you’d need to check to see which package you chose and how many digital images you get to download. You’ll also get an email explaining how to use your print credit.

If you booked your wedding with me, you would receive a complimentary engagement session as well as all edited images from that session. Your print credit is included with your wedding package and is used as a total between the engagement session and the wedding.

Really, It’s That Easy.

The main goal of your engagement session is to celebrate the love between you and your partner. It also helps you to get acquainted with your wedding photographer to make sure you’re comfortable on one of the milestone days of your life.

Are you ready to schedule your session? You can see more here!

So let’s have fun!

Kailie and Bobby’s Summer Wedding – With Alpacas!

Initially, these two were going to get married at a venue and have a giant party there. But we all know what happened. SO, they moved it to their parent’s house instead, which included a little herd of Alpaca’s.

Upstairs of the house, Kailie, and her gals were getting ready and getting in some celebratory drinks, of course.

While I was inside with Kailie, my good friends, Sightglass Photography, were outside having some fun.

And let’s all take in how adorable their Corgi, Whiskey, is.

Once they were all ready, we did a sneak peek away from everyone else. We tried to get Bobby to shed a tear, but we failed.

After a slight delay due to the Groom spilling some beer on his pants, we were ready for the ceremony!

And of course having some fun with our group shots right after the ceremony. I will make you take some serious images, but really, we all know you want the fun ones!

Many couples are switching it up on traditions, and these two were no different. Wanting to spend more time with their friends and family, they opted for the traditional cake cutting and first dance. But they did have some fun with the cake.

And then back up the hill, we went to see how their friends could embarrass them with their speeches.

I saw this as an excellent opportunity to sneak the couple off for some portraits while the cake got cut up and the party was warming up.

We wrapped up our coverage right after the two of them celebrated their first dance on the dance floor.

Congratulations to Kailie, Bobby, and Whiskey (the dog, not the drink)

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