+ Vancouver wa photographer

Cedar Creek Grist Mill Engagement with Tallen and Elizabeth

Tallen and Elizabeth are getting married!! And of course, Frank is ecstatic.

Vancouver, WA Photographer

Being fall, one of my favorite places was the perfect backdrop to their engagement session. The Cedar Creek Grist Mill gives lots of gorgeous scenery to showcase these two lovebirds.

The old grist mill was built in 1876 along the picturesque Cedar Creek. Aged wood on the mill and the covered bridge is just a highlight to their engagement images. A little backlighting on the bridge doesn’t hurt either.

Along the eastern side of the creek, the path leads to rock outcroppings and access down to the stream. This area is less visited, so it’s the perfect area to sneak off to. Fall hasn’t fully hit here in the Pacific Northwest, so I used some editing magic and boosted the season forward a little bit.

However, I was able to find one leaf that was ready for fall!

Vancouver, WA PhotographerAnd then there was Frank, Tallen and Elizabeth’s adorable pup. He wanted to be with them the entire time. Luckily, both of their Mother’s came along to handle the dog that didn’t want to leave their side. Frank brought along a few signs to tell us human’s how he felt.

Congratulations to these two! Bill and I are excited to capture your wedding next year along the Lewis River!


+ Loowit

Pacific Northwest Lore: The Three Peaks

According to the lore of the Puyallup tribes, long ago a massive landslide of rocks tumbled into the Columbia River near Cascade Locks and formed a natural stone bridge that spanned the river. The bridge came to be called Tamanawas Bridge, or Bridge of the Gods.

In the center of the arch burned the only fire in the world, so the site was sacred to Native Americans. They came from north, south, west, and east to get embers for their fires from the holy fire.

An old woman, Loowitlatkla (“Lady of Fire,”) lived in the center of the arch, tending the fire. Loowit, was so faithful in her task, and so kind to the Indians who came for the flame, that the great chief Tyee Sahale noticed her. He had a gift he had given to very few others, the gift of eternal life.

But Loowit wept because she did not want to live forever as an old woman. Sahale could not take back the gift, but he told Loowit he could grant her one wish. Her wish, to be young and beautiful. Sahale granted this wish and the fame of her extreme beauty spread.

One day Wy’east came from the land of the Multnomahs in the south to see Loowit. Just as he arrived at Tamanawas Bridge, his brother Klickitat came thundering down from the north. Both brothers fell in love with Loowit, but she could not choose between them.

Klickitat and Wy’east had a tremendous fight. Sahale watched all of this fury and became very angry.  He broke the bridge and cursed the three lovers. But, even as he punished them, he loved them. So, where each lover fell, he raised a mighty mountain.

Vancouver wa photography

Because Loowit was beautiful her mountain (St. Helens) was a symmetrical cone, dazzling white. My image, of course, was captured after the eruption of 1981, more like last month!


Wy’east’s mountain (Mount Hood) still lifts his head in pride.


Klickitat, for all his rough ways, had a tender heart. As Mount Adams, he bends his head in sorrow, weeping to see the beautiful maiden Loowit wrapped in snow.


Some scientists suspect that Mount St. Helens also was active during the three decades before 1831, including a significant eruption in 1800. Although minor steam explosions may have occurred in 1898, 1903, and 1921, the mountain gave little or no evidence of being a volcanic hazard for more than a century after 1857. 

The peace of the Mount St. Helens region was broken on May 18th, 1980,  when the volcano exploded back to life. 

If you would like to see more of my landscape work, you can visit my landscape gallery here!

Much of this story I obtained the Oregon State University website here if you want to learn more.


+ Vancouver, WA Event Photographer

Candlelighters Harvest of Hope 2018

“Healing. Hope. Light. These words are central to Candlelighters mission and this year we’re focusing on light. The light Candlelighters provides to local families battling childhood cancer with a special spotlight on our new Teen Program, “The Luminaries.””

That is how the Candlelighters use to describe their annual gala, Harvest of Hope.

This dinner and auction raises money each year to help fund all the amazing things that this foundation does to help local families whose children are fighting cancer.

I got to join Candlelighters For Children With Cancer for the second year in a row to capture all the fun events that they do. Including the silent and the very active lively auction.

DoubleTree Lloyd center provided a marvelous spread for dinner with a huge selection for guests. I grabbed a sweet treat from Ruby Jewel and enjoyed a nice glass of red from Chehalem Winery.

During the live auction, lots of amazing vacations and local getaways were sold off. There was one prize I know my brother would of been bidding like crazy for. For a $100 donation, you had a chance to win Seahawk tickets AND a signed football from Russell Wilson.

Thank you to everyone who participated and gave back to this wonderful foundation.

You can see all the action from last years gala here.
Missy Fant is a wedding, portrait, and event photographer located in downtown Vancouver, WA.


Pacific Northwest Lore: The Spirits of the Lake and the Stubborn Old Man.

I have always been interested in lore and stories about how places receive their names, especially if they are a little bit on the creepy side. So, being October, I thought it would be a fun little side project to build some stories of what I have found out about some beloved regions here in Southwest Washington.

Portland and Vancouver have had their stories, and histories told multiple times, but what about here in North County? Well, I have found some great stories that have been passed down.

Spirit Lake

Bodies of water tend to get their names from local legends or explorers. So with a name like Spirit Lake, there has to be something behind it, right?

Multiple Native American tribes had stories about this lake, all of them stated that there was some kind of evil being in or around this lake. So much so, that Paul Kane, a Canadian artist, could not find a local guide to take him there.

From demons that would lure local hunters, Salmon in the lake being cursed beings, or a beast so massive, it could stretch across the lake. It’s hand large enough to reach out and seize boats in the lake and pull them to the depths below.

You can read more about the legends here.

Spirit Lake is still an eerie place. High up in the mountains with multiple logs covering the surface and slowly rehabilitating from the blast.

Vancouver WA Photographer

During the eruption of  Loowit (Mt. St. Helens) in 1981, Spirit Lake received the full lateral blast, and the lake waters formed a wave as high as 850 feet tall on the north side of the lake. Lahar and pyroclastic flows blocked the natural flow and raised the lake 197-206 feet and covered the surface of the lake with shattered trees.

During this time, a man, his cats, and his cabin disappeared.

Harry R. Truman

When you think of curmudgeonly old men, you can picture Harry R. Truman in your head. He was the type of guy that drove a pink Cadillac and would get a forest ranger drunk so that he could burn a pile of brush.

Truman, 83, and his 16 cats were the caretakers at the St. Helens Lodge that was located directly in the blast zone. Here are the historical coordinates on the map.


On May 17th authorities tried for the last time to get Truman to abandon his lodge, but his response was “If the mountain goes, I’m going with it.”

You can watch an old interview with him and his personality from the local news channel here.

The next day, the most massive landslide in recorded history and a pyroclastic flow traveling atop the avalanche, engulfed the Spirit Lake area, destroying the lake and burying the site of the lodge under 150 feet of debris.

Authorities have never found Truman’s remains.

This is what the area looks like now.

Vancouver WA Photographer

There is a memorial to Harry in Castle Rock, WA.

“I think I can see a smile on his face. For he lived and died in his special place. And all he would ask of the Lord for his sake, in a place in eternity like Spirit Lake”.

Loowit has some great history, next week we’ll focus on two brothers who fell in love with her.



+ Columbia Gorge Engagement

Columbia Gorge Engagement Session | Stephanie and Ty

The Columbia Gorge is a magnificent piece of nature, especially in the fall. So when Stephanie contacted me about possible locations for their engagement session, I added the Cascade Locks to the list.

I met up with my friend, Charity, of Narrow Path Photograph, at 7 am, and we caravaned up the gorge to reach out destination by 8. Usually, the sun is well above the horizon at this time, but for our location, the cliffs above the Columbia Gorge are still high enough to give us the light that we want a little later in the morning.

Vancouver, WA PhotographerAccess to the park is gated, but just for vehicles, hiking in is wholly encouraged. We first started at the sheer rock faces there. I love the colors that they give.

Vancouver, WA Photographer

Hiking to the top looks intimidating, but really, there is an access road around the back that makes it super easy to get on top of this gorgeous bluff overlooking the Columbia River. One side has the river views, and the other has the giant cliffs spotted with evergreen trees. This place is GORGE-OUS (see what I did there?!?)

With the sunrise coming up over the hills, it gave the perfect light for Stephanie and Ty.

They call this the “golden hour” for a reason.

Before we headed to the waterfront, I knew I wanted to utilize the cliff edge. It’s relatively safe to access and stand up on from above. So I positioned them and handed Charity my light to hold while I walked below. The speedlight didn’t help too much as the sun was brilliant this morning, but it added a little. I would say that it doesn’t matter either way to me, I am in LOVE with this image, I think the studio may need a large metal print of it.

Columbia Gorge Engagement Session

When we all made it back to the bottom of the cliff, we walked to the waterfront to enjoy the view. The rock outcroppings made for a perfect seat for Ty; we just let them enjoy the morning stood back to create the images. I will admit, the evergreen tree framed in made the shot perfect for a holiday card, but also fits the Pacific Northwest perfectly.

The whole island was mostly open and filled with field grass, so this last image of them walking away was perfect.

Vancouver, WA Photographer

I would like to that the sun for playing along for this engagement session. The night before I was capturing a wedding, and there was a little bit of rain, but lots of clouds. The light streaming through the clouds this morning was stunning as if the higher powers were reassuring me I was following the right dream.


Looking to book your engagement session? Contact us here!