Kids grow FAST, so freezing them in time by photographing them is the perfect way to spend an afternoon. The Rath family did just that last fall with me at the campus at WSU Vancouver.
And of course, when you book your session with me, I expect you to bring your entire family! I am getting very good at holding/petting your dogs when you want images with just the human members of your family.
The path goes through the field and dips down and over a creek with a cute little wooden bridge.
Because the Pacific Northwest likes to keep us on our toes, this is also the spot that I tend to go to when the drizzle hits for a little bit. The tree cover gives us some decent break from the weather, and we don’t have to pause at all!
Just across the creek are tree-lined pathways that meander back to the main campus. But we found this perfect bench for some family snuggles.
The wooden gate area along Salmon Creek Ave always get the kids climbing, and I get them reluctantly to smile for me at the same time.
It was such a great day hanging out out with the Raths! Thank you do much for choosing me to capture your family!
If you’re looking to book your family session, head on over to my contact page and send me a note!
2020 was a ROUGH year. So much happening and changing, that we seem to forget that the younger generation is going through this in what is supposed to be the best of years. The classes of 2020 and 2021 have missed their senior years, prom, and graduation ceremonies.
Let’s make sure to celebrate them and let them know that we are all here for them and rooting them on in their journeys!
We all know that horses hold a certain place in the heart of many, especially kids. We also know that horses aren’t in the cards for everyone to own, so why not have a fun session of your child having the best day of their life?
I have teamed up with Meg at Wildish Way and her rescued therapy animals to create this experience.
Avalon is a 17 hand Shire Horse that absolutely loves kids and spending time with them. She also loves and poses for the camera.
Other amazing souls inhabit this magical farm; my favorite might be the miniature donkeys who want all the scratches they can get from you. And Tommy Turkey acts more like a dog than some actual dogs I have met.
Each session will be an hour-long and include time with Avalon around the barn, road, and other scenic spots within the property. It will also include Meg handling the animals safely and giving a safety brief in the beginning, to make sure there is understanding with the safety. The animals will not be ridden or mounted in any way; this session allows cuddling, walking, petting, and light grooming.
Prices for these experiences start at $800. They include the hour-long session, 25 fully edited digital images of your choice, a $200 print credit, a fully groomed and clean Avalon, and expert animal handling. You are also required to initial and sign a release from Wildish Way upon arrival at the farm.
If you are ready to book your special experience, feel free to contact me!
Rachel and Missy originally met in a local photographer’s group in Vancouver, WA called Viewpoint Collaborative. A group of Pacific Northwest professional female photographers, specializing in different photography genres and styles, but who all share at least one common theme; we believe in community over competition. Missy and Rachel are two landscape photographers in the Portland Oregon area and they adventured to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon together on April 7, 2021.
After their visit, Rachel realized how different each of their photos were on their independent posts on social media.
Then came the spark to create a collaborative blog highlighting favorite images and tips for being at the farm. We hope you enjoy this Collaboration.
The Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is going on until May 1, 2021.
Electronic tickets are required prior to arrival.
Click Here to Buy Tickets (scroll to the bottom of the page + select the date you’d like to go)
Hey there, Missy here. I’m a landscape photographer that also captures people in the wild as well. Portraits and weddings that bring the landscape to life. I’m also a mom, a wife, and a giant ball of anxiety that is slowly learning how to chill that part out.
You can check out more of my work on these sites:
Online Gallery: https://missyfantphoto.shootproof.com/gallery/5269189/
Hi, I’m Rachel! I’m a landscape photographer in Vancouver, WA and during the past 6 years of being in business, I’ve traveled all over the country. I love photographing the beauty and wonder of this planet we call home, with my partner, Brian, and our pup, Maui. If you’re interested in purchasing a fine art landscape print of mine for your home or office, feel free to head on over to my print shop.
I’m all about community + would love to connect with you!
Anything that worked really well? Anything you wish you had?
Rachel: Deciding what to bring on a shoot, can be a gamble, especially when you don’t know exactly what conditions are going to be. It can be fun to experiment and force yourself to use/not use specific lenses or tools, but it’s also important to have your basics covered.
For this day, I decided to bring:
- Nikon D810
- Tokina 17-35 f/4.0
- Nikon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6
- Nikon 105mm
- Peak Design Travel tripod
- Wireless remote shutter release
I’m REALLY glad I brought my 105mm. I ended up using this for the entire second half of the time we were there, just playing, and experimenting and I learned I LOVE that lens. The creamy blurry background in my macro photos is because of this lens. Just beautiful.
I wish I had brought my other camera body! I had my camera on a tripod, capturing a timelapse of the sunrise, and I wish I had another camera available to free-hand capture other things I noticed that I didn’t want to disrupt my time lapse for. I did have my phone, which I did use… but of course, that’s not the same.
Missy: For landscapes recently, I’ve been going bare bones and not bringing much, it pushes me to think outside the box to get something different.
So for this trip, I brought only my prime lenses, something I usually do just for portrait sessions. It also may have been because I lent my favorite zoom lens, my 24-70, to a friend.
- Nikon D750
- Sigma Art 35 mm 1. 4
- Sigma Art 85 mm 1.4
- 3 Legged Thing Brian Tripod
My 85mm is the stand out here as I should also admit, it’s my favorite lens ever, but also, it is a tight crop and makes you think more about the composition. My plan was to make the tulips the star of the show, not the entire landscape.
I do wish that I brought my ND filter as the clouds would have given me some great long exposures to show the movement of them.
Your favorite thing about visiting the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm?
Rachel: It’s totally a unique experience! The farm is a great place to get back in touch with nature and have fun. I also love that they open it for sunrise, and photographer or not, I highly recommend this unique opportunity.
Missy: The different fields of colors and of course, the location. When the clouds don’t move in, there is a great view of the sunrise coming over Mount Hood.
Top 3 tips
- Bring more gear/lens options than you think you need. You can always keep them locked up in your car, and grab them if you decide you want them. If you have a macro lens, bring it.
- Explore the whole farm… Look at it from far away, get down on the ground and look at the flowers up close. Heck, do some people watching if that’s up your alley, and watch the little kids in amazement or the flock of photographers each with their own vision.
- Go more than once if you can. Every day is going to give you a different experience. Plus, supporting local farmers, and local business is always great!
- I’m the opposite as I like to think simple. Bringing too much will make you continually guess which one to use at the moment….and then you lose the moment. STOP OVERTHINKING.
- Take time to just enjoy it. Put the camera down for a bit, sit on one of the benches, and just take it all in.
- DON’T be like everyone else. If you see the massive line of photographers forming for a shot, break out and try a new/different angle.
Break away from scenes like this, unless you really do want that shot!
Favorite Macro Image
Missy: Not a macro in its definition, but still, a standout with some details. The rebellious mini daffodils growing amongst the tulips.
My Sigma Art 85 is not a macro lens, BUT it does take gorgeous closeups and creates the bokeh that I love.
Rachel: “Sometimes we’re just not quite ready to open up.”
The ‘Black Sheep’ Image
Missy: We went for tulips and landscapes, and I focus on the old tractors scattered amongst the fields.
35mm Sigma Art. Wanting more images that don’t line up with what you typically seen shot here.
Rachel:“I need to be right here. …Even if I’m different. I just couldn’t be over there.”
Favorite Conceptual Image
Missy: If you couldn’t tell, my whole spiel here has been to be different and stand out amongst others. That’s EXACTLY what this guy was doing. Be like them. Otherwise, you just blur into the background like the others.
The gorgeous 85mm again, open at full 1.4 to get the one flower in focus and blur the others.
Rachel: “Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
In loving memory to all those who have passed or lost a loved one to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Favorite Sunrise Image
Missy: This one is my favorite. If you saw the line of the photographer image above, I was here lining this up. I was all alone, and I had a blast. I mean, I did have another photographer come over after I got this one and look around like I was crazy, but I’ll take it. And yes, it was cold, the dirt was near frozen and I’m sitting on the ground, watching the sunrise, and clicking with my other hand after I lined it up. I just wish I had a hot cup of coffee on the other hand.
Rachel and I did head back to the car after this for a bit to unfreeze our fingers so we could still be functional.
Rachel: “I woke up at 4:30 for this. Surprise! It was worth it.”
Overall, this was such a fun project for us to take a look at how we see things differently.
We hope you enjoyed it and feel ready to go get your own photos at the farm!
Have you been to the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival? Let us know in the comments.
We’ll see you out there!
If you would like to see Rachel’s post, you can see it here!
2020 was a mess in so many ways, but there are some amazing moments that made the year so wonderful.
With COVID restrictions and numerous other things, Sarah and Stacey messaged me asking if I would capture their elopement that they moved up from their wedding planning. They are still planning on an epic reception, but just couldn’t wait and not be married anymore. Of course I said yes and even showed them a magical place to do so.
On a COLD day in December, we headed out to the stone house and set up for a sweet ceremony with just their parents and a few friends.
There wasn’t much setup needed as the stone house is already perfect. A half fallen stone house covered in moss with the fireplace working as the alter, all hidden in the forest just a few yards from the highway.
Their vows were so special, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house (including me).
And, if you read their engagement session post, you know there will be some humor. Sarah didn’t fall out oof a tree this time, but the hand-fasting decided to magically undo itself in the greatest of fashion.
Following the kiss to finalize it all, there was also tequila shots!
And let’s not forget the amazing sign their friend made them!
Around the stone house, is a small trail and a LOT of trees. Not to mention, it is all built on a slope. So just some small areas for portraits, but of course these two made it work just fine.
Congratulations to Sarah and Stacey and I can’t wait until its all safe again to hang out!
For those wondering about the location, we keep it hidden for a reason. There has been many reports of vandalism and destruction. As of March 2021, the access point is currently gated and it looks as if they are taking down some trees that look as if they could fall any moment. So we got to access it in the nick of time!
When you book your wedding with me, I include an engagement session in every package. But really, you can use that session how you choose, so Lee and Ricky brought along their awesome kids, and we did both an engagement and family session!
In fall, there are plenty of options for locations here in Vancouver, but I LOVE the fields over by WSU. The open fields lined with trees, the path to the creek with the little bridge over it. Rain or shine, you can find some great spots here.
Look at how handsome all their boys are! And they were all awesome to work with.
With every set, we did a set of family images and then had the boys step out so that Lee and Ricky could have some sweet shots as well.
While COVID may of pushed their wedding until 2022, but I a so excited to work with this family again!
Kailie and Bobby’s favorite place to hang out is Caps N’ Taps, so of course, we met up there to kick off their engagement session. Little did I know that their pup, Whiskey, was a celebrity there and knew the right people to get treats from.
I have yet to met a person that could resist a Corgi.
Being a taproom, there had to be some beers (and cider) as well. Thank you to Caps N’ Taps for letting us shoot in there, have some beers, and maybe sneak back for a cute shot.
Downtown Camas has some great little spots; even some tucked into a side alley. I love these wings and may have used them a few times.
The Liberty Theater was opened in 1927 and has been a landmark along 4th ave since. I love the old architecture and the marquee. I added a little flash in there since it’s still dark.
I make it a bit of a point that if you bring your pup along, they get their own portrait. I think it’s a dog lover thing.
And of course, just strolling along the main street.
After our little walk downtown, we headed up the hill to Crown Park. That way, Whiskey could get a little running around in as well. Bring along a picnic blanket, and it makes a perfect photo for save the dates!
Congratulations again to Kailie and Bobby and I am excited to see you again in May!
Growing up, we always had many different animals around the house, from turtles, mice, frogs, and iguanas, but we ALWAYS had dogs. The moment we bought a house and had a backyard, we’ve had dogs. If you follow my social media, you’ll see the two I have now. One is my constant hiking companion.
When Amanda asked if I did pet photography, I thought to myself, well, dogs ARE family. I am a family photographer, so YES!
Hercules came to them as a rescue who needed lots of love. But now, he’s an old man, and Amanda and Jamieson wanted to make sure that they got pictures together that they could treasure. So that is precisely what we did.
Thank you Amanda, Jamieson, and Hercules for a great day out!
When fall comes in Vancouver, WA, one of the most popular places to see the leaves, is the road straight down Officer’s Row near Fort Vancouver. The tree-lined streets light up with colors and offer great backgrounds. So when Shelby booked her family session and wanted fall colors, I put Officer’s Row on the top of the list.
With two little ones, with PLENTY of energy, we tried to get them to burn off some of their energy. Letting them run around the open grass fields was great for that purpose and to get them to warm up their smiles.
I learned, however, that there is NO limit to these little ones’ energy. They just kept going. We took them back across the street to explore the porch and grounds of the Marshall House. I love the porches of the homes, but as you can tell, trying to get them to hold still was near impossible.
To me, true portraits like this capture what your children were like at this age, they grow so fast, and we are soon to forget.
It just means that you’ll get a sweet portrait and some fun outtakes along the way. Squirmy little ones are so cute, even if I have to chase them the entire time.
Another distraction? Go climb a tree!
They have some fun, and we can get some sweet shots of them.
I don’t usually recommend playing in the road, but Evergreen Road at this section is slow-moving and very well watched by enforcement. Not to mention, it is a National Park and has plenty of crosswalks and people walking up and down the road. So drivers know to use caution along this stretch.
The trees stretch along and pop with color in fall.
Before leaving, we still wanted to try to get some more energy out, so we had them run to the gazebo in the middle of the grass stretch.
The old fence is always a great little stop to pull the boots on tighter before the run.
At the Gazebo, I encourage family snuggling and sitting down, and just enjoying their kids. Especially if they love to watch, the planes taking off from Pearson. It’s a great way to catch their attention and relax on the stairs.
Thank you to the Gianarelli for being so amazing!
Are you ready to book your portrait session? Head on over to my portraits page for more information!
Three reschedules, multiple venue changes, and finally, Sarah and Anthony got married! It wasn’t what was planned, but it was still perfect.
Because of all of the restrictions with COVID, Sarah and Anthony went through so many changes to get married. They finally just said, let’s do it. Sarah initially booked me for earlier in the year for a courthouse wedding, but when everything was shut down, it was put on hold. Another attempt and the courthouse was still not accepting weddings. Finally, in September they were able to get a venue. I got an email earlier in the week from Sarah stating they booked venue and am I available in 3 days. So I packed up the gear and met them at the Oaks Pioneer Church in Sellwood.
Anthony and the family were hanging outside as I got there, all waiting for Sarah to be on her way. Once we got word, everyone moved inside and I waited out for Sarah.
Can I say that yes please on more black wedding dresses? I think Anthony approved as well.
Due to COVID guidelines, there were just a few of their family members there to witness it all. But they were all glad to be there.
If you’ve never been inside the Oaks Pioneer Church, the dark wood paneling can make it seem dark, but the bright and gorgeous stained glass windows really help brighten it up. It is a gorgeous venue for a wedding.
The ceremony was short and sweet, and contained so many gorgeous words to each other.
Again, to follow guidelines and make sure everyone was comfortable, I had them step outside for the family formals. While the wildfires were burning and filling the air with smoke, it was actually much better than a lot of the other days that we had up here. If we were to look on the positive side, it did work as a good light diffuser.
After the family portraits, I took Sarah and Anthony around for some of their portraits. First around the church grounds. We were lucky to catch the last of the roses blooming.
Right down the road, I peered an opening in the trees that I absolutely had to take their portraits in. I mean, what perfect framing!
Little did I know that it was a pathway into Sellwood Park. So we decided to take a little walk and see what we could find. Sarah really wanted some fall color in with everything.
The trees were still deciding if they thought it was fall or not, so I may of fudged this one a tad in editing to make sure Sarah got exactly what she wanted.
The park was empty, but still gorgeous. I saw some baseball fields and what looked like some older concession stands. I love the care that they used when they built parks like this, even if the architecture has some weird details that we wanted to get some pictures with.
But as always, I will never underestimate the gorgeousnesses that mother nature adds to the image.
With the way that the smoke had filled the sky, we were not expect much when we went down to the waterfront. But the Sellwood Bridge really became a centerpiece, and the smoke ended up looking like fog. I think it gave an eerie, but gorgeous look to things.
After a quick stop back up at the church for a few details, our time together was over. They were off to celebrate with dinner and drinks, and I did my usual of heading home, unloading my SD cards, and sending them a sneak peek as quick as I could.
Congratulations to Sarah and Anthony!
The current pandemic isn’t ruining everyone’s plans, Katrina and Lennon were determined to get married this year, and that is exactly what they did.
With the help of Lakeside Gardens, these two were able to have a small family gathering and still enjoy a ceremony and dinner with family members. All while following guidelines and having a great night.
Katrina got ready with a few of her ladies with all the details, including his and her masks.
This year has been so much different than past years, with COVID, I have been flying solo. So I try my best to keep bouncing back and forth from the bride and groom’s spaces to try to get everything that I can.
When both Katrina and Lennon were ready I snuck Lennon out to one of the many bridges at Lakeside and setup the first look. I had to position him facing away and made him pinky promise that he wouldn’t turn around until I said so. Then I ran back inside and got Katrina. True to his word, Lennon was still facing away so that we got the sweet surprised face when he turned around.
While I had them outside and away from family, I took them around the property for a bit for some portraits before the sun started dropping. Lakeside Gardens is gorgeous in both full sun and when the lights get low, so I like to use it to my advantage and get images during both times.
If you couldn’t tell by the Keyblades, these two have a love of the Kingdom Hearts video games series. One I have started multiple times, but have failed to finish, because I’ve rarely finished any series I play as I don’t want them to end. My save files can confirm that as I save before the end of the game so I can go back and finish all the side quests, get all the items, and make all the NPC’s happy. Katrina and Lennon had custom Keyblades made just for their wedding, so we had some fun.
After stealing them for a bit, we got back and got the whole wedding party together. When you do a first look, we can push the portraits up before the ceremony, so you have more time to party afterwards.
The ceremony site has a long tunnel of ivy that leads into the gazebo plaza. With a small group family and friends. Katrina and Lennon exchanged vows and got married!
In a year like this, being able to celebrate with your friends and family, safely, is everything.
At the entrance of the property, overlooking the pond, is a gorgeous willow tree that I adore. So for those family members that arrived just right before the ceremony, it’s a great little spot for family images.
Back inside, everyone sat at distanced tables and in family groups while the couple had heir own spot in front of everyone. I always tell my clients that I don’t photograph them while dinner is going on, so I usually take this time to steal the wedding rings and capture other details I may of missed whilst chasing after everyone.
Following the theme of the wedding, each table was assigned a certain area from the game.
One of the reasons I love the wedding speeches, is that I get to learn so much more about the couple getting married. While I keep open communication before everything, the siblings, best friends, and family members always give me a more detailed look into my clients love stories.
With everyone still seated, Katrina and Lennon headed over to their cake table to enjoy some of the sweetness for the year. Did you see their custom topper in the details?
In 2020, dancing was banned. Unless its just the two of you blocking out everything else going on, and just enjoying each the company of each other.
Remember when I said that I like to take portraits when the sun is up, and when the moon comes out? We did just that. While everyone was inside filling out a little game, I stole these two back outside to make some magic…with lighting….you weirdos. Here is even a little before and after in the gazebo that shows you the difference.
And now the fun trivia game that gave quite a few laughs, especially when filled out by the younger siblings.
With that, they were officially wed and got to celebrate with their friends and family. While their overseas honeymoon got put on hold, I am sure that they are enjoying the newlywed life.
Congratulations to Katrina and Lennon!
If you wanted to see more of Lakeside Gardens, you can check out Kylie and Kellys wedding as well!
Well, maybe not the top, but at a really gorgeous spot with the view of Mount Hoods Peak. Mount Hood Ski Bowl offers an amazing small ceremony site with a view of the mountain, and a fun way to get back down.
Tim grew up in Oregon, and Rachel, she grew up in Oregon as well, but it was Oregon, Illinois.
So many it was just fate that brought them together. Now with both of them living in Texas, they wanted to come back up and celebrate their wedding in thee Pacific Northwest with a small group of their friends and family, because, you know, COVID.
Disclaimer to this wedding as well, this was planned and executed under all guidelines for COVID at the time in Oregon. They followed all protocols as well did all the vendors.
We took a van up to the top as not all of the lifts were running in August and started to setup the site. Also at the site is a warming hut that works perfectly as an area for a bride and her bridesmaids getting ready.
While that was happening inside, the florist was setting up the alter and I got to sneak the dress out before anyone else arrived.
All morning, the peak had been shrouded with clouds. But just as we were starting to setup, the clouds were breaking and giving us a gorgeous backdrop.
The boys got mostly ready back down at the main ski area and then came back up to help get everything else setup. But I did stop the groom and the bride’s father to get their boutonnières on.