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{Silver Falls Park Wedding} Melissa and Ethan

With my love of waterfalls, Silver Falls Park had always been on my list of places to visit. Since I started photographing weddings four years ago, it has been harder and harder for me to head out and just cover landscapes. Luckily, I have amazing clients that allow me to capture both landscapes and weddings at the same time!

Silver Falls is also a special place for Melissa and Ethan as they run a yearly summer camp there. You can find out more about it here!

We met Melissa up at her cabin getting ready with all of her bridesmaids. While we were up there, Ethan drove down to South Falls and waiting for his bride.

We fought the crowds and had a fantastic first look with the falls in the background…and some quiet away from their ceremony site for the two.

The ceremony was in the vast Glen at the conference center. Ethan played his guitar while standing up at the altar and waiting for Melissa. When Melissa was walking down the aisle, they had their friends playing guitar and singing just for her.

Dinner and reception were in the conference center and the open dining area they have outside. They have a chef on site, and their food is fantastic!

Pies, dancing and having a great time with friends and family went on into the night as they had rented all the cabins in the area just for that reason.

I am so blessed to have met and worked with these two. They are currently packing and getting ready for their multi month honeymoon in South America. I can totally sneak away in their luggage….right?

 

And of course a huge thank you to my associate photographer Bill Burk for wonderful images, folklore tales, and all things photography talk whilst we drove the long way there and back!

 

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{Cedar Creek Grist Mill} The Waltons

As I’ve stated before, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill in Woodland, Washington is becoming the most popular location for my families to pick for their portraits! I am always excited when they choose this venue. Not only is it beautiful, but I grew up in the area as my grandparents lived a few miles away, and my family and I now live in the area as well!

Christy, Cody, and their beautiful twins boys, and wiggly little one met me out there on a warm summer’s day. With the gorgeous tree cover and the coolness of Cedar Creek, it was perfect.

We climbed on the rocks, walked through the bridge, and explored the beauty of what nature has to offer.

So happy that I got to work with the family and looking forward to our next meeting!

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{A Wedding Fit For a Princess} Kelsey and Jaremy

When the couple wants to meet me in a brewery, hikes in a thunderstorm for their engagement session and bribes me to go to the beach, I know they are my type of people.

Kelsey is a Disney fanatic, so of course, she had a Cinderella dress full of sparkles and subtle hints everywhere, I never found the hidden Mickey’s though.

Jaremy was the perfect prince. Smiles, tears, and lots of spontaneous moments with these two made our day fun.

It was a destination wedding in Lincoln, City Oregon, so I bribed my husband into coming along for a weekend retreat, and even got him to go with to assist me. Now he understands why sometimes when I get home, I just want to sit down and have a beer. It’s a workout!

We met Jaremy and Kelsey at Salishan Spa and Golf Resort as they were getting ready. I hung out with the girls and captured the details.

 

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Kelsey’s dress on the balcony of her suite.

The ceremony was held in the little glen that they had tucked away on the property. The sun was tricky that day as it was in and out of clouds and peeking through the trees surrounding the site.

Afterward, we went to the reception hall. I was completely floored at the amazing centerpieces that Kelsey’s friend, Katie, had made. There may be talk about her opening an Etsy shop for these!

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It was a subtle Disney theme. Can you guess what table has what movie?

And of course, the bride and groom had this one.

 

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The reception included a waffle brunch, dancing, toasts, and cupcakes from Simply Sweets here in Vancouver, WA

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The real magic happened when we snuck off down to the beach. The sun was out at the top of the hill at Salishan, but the beach was misty. It made for perfect lighting. There was a path off to the side that was lined by trees.

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My husband and I had an amazing time working with these two, I cant wait to go grab some beers and hangout some more.

 

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{Girls Night Out – Beer Lover Style} First Annual Brewers Dinner at Heavy Metal Brewing

I had the pleasure of joining my friend Stephanie for a girls date at Heavy Metal Brewing. I had never been to the brewer dinner myself, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to check it out and hang out with a great friend.

Stephanie got us tickets for the first annual Brewers Dinner in which they paired one of their beers with some unique dishes for the night.

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We sat down, chatted a bit, and along came the food. I was a little sad that I couldn’t have the Mango or Blood Orange brews (horrible allergic reactions), but they did trade it out for some of their peanut butter stout!

I had two things that I know I need to try again.

  1. Pickled okra. I have never had it like this before, and I think ill be grabbing some fresh okra at the store and pickling some myself! I think I need a few gallons of this.
  2. Gazpacho. Before, cold tomato soup never really got my tastebuds going. However, I think I will be trying this everywhere. The chef at Heavy Metal added lots of heat, cucumbers, chunks of tomato, and fresh cilantro. New summer favorite!

It was a great night hanging out with friends and having some good food and beer at the same time.

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{A Multnomah Falls Wedding} Katie and Christian

Multnomah Falls on my list of dream venues to shoot at, and Katie and Christian helped me achieve that dream!

My assistant Eleanor and I arrived at a surprisingly open parking lot and made our way over to the historic lodge. Inside, we were able to go where more tourists can not, the attic.

It had a curtained balcony opening to the dining, room, a marvelous old fireplace, and my favorite, a triangular window that ran along the roof slope outside.

The ceremony took place in the plaza a little farther back than the falls itself. We could see the top of the falls from there but otherwise were surrounded by the gorgeous trees that we have here in the Pacific northwest.

After the ceremony, we fought the tourists and made our way to the waterfall viewpoint. Most people saw the gorgeous dress and gave us a few minutes to capture the falls behind them. Then Eleanor, Katie, and Christian hiked up to the historic bridge so that we could get some pictures on the bridge itself.

Inside the lodge, we had a majority of the dining room to eat, drink, and dance the night away!

We snuck out one more time, why? Because someone had brought their goats to the park! We got out there and got to play with a mom and her baby. It wouldn’t be Portland (or close to it) without adding something unique.

I am so lucky that I get to work with couples like Katie and Christian. Their fun and easy going personalities make my job so enjoyable and easy to capture their candid moments together.

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{Cedar Creek Grist Mill} Melissa and Family​

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is becoming one of my most beloved spots!

I met Melissa and her family out for some portraits on a bright, gorgeous June day.  One of my favorite things about the mill is that it gives a variety of different backdrops. From the woods to the creek, and then the old Mill and bridge itself.

I love working out there with such marvelous families.

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{Women In Film} Film Doc Camp

Documenting events is something that I enjoy. Being able to tell a story in images and allowing the participants to go back to those days they spent there.

I was invited the incredible opportunity to capture the Women in Film Documentary Camp at Silver Falls Park. I got to meet some people doing some amazing story telling along with other film professionals that were there to teach others how to build what they need to succeed.

Lots of workshops, screenings of documentaries currently in the works, and industry camaraderie meant to build each other up instead of dragging each other down.

I want to personally thank Amanda, the President of Women in Film for allowing me to come and capture what you do. I learned some great aspects of storytelling and picked up a few pieces of video gear to start building my stories. I’ll never be able to tell a story as they can, but I can at least try, right?

 

 

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{A Backyard Soiree} Adele and Jared

 

It started with an email way back in 2015. Adele was looking for a photographer in SW Washington and somehow stumbled across my website back then.

She and her fiancé Jared live in Indiana and were having a wedding there, and then flying over to the west coast to have a wedding with Jared’s family in Longview. An excellent, low-key, fun event here in the PNW? I’ll take it!

It was the first real clear, hot sunny day, so I packed along my appropriate lighting gear that lets me fight the sun when it’s too bright outside.

I met Jared out while he was wondering around Tony’s property and he gave me the quick tour. Since they already had their big party, they were having a small, casual ceremony and then dinner, dancing, and drinks afterward.

Their ceremony was in the wide open sun, and they stood beneath a handmade arbor while saying their vows and planting a tree together.

For portraits, we meandered through the property trying to find as even as light as possible. The wooden fence along the perimeter had some great shade trees dotted along it what worked perfectly for little hangout spots out of the bright light and hot heat.

The property had this beautiful barn with an elegant loft that would hold the entire family. Below, there was a covered patio where a sweet song was played by Tony and his guitar for their second first dance together.

It was a perfect gathering for celebrating these two!

I wish them all the best and to SSDGM!

 

 

 

 

Do You Exist in Pictures?

I keep seeing this topic appear on blogs, workshops, and of course, hearing out of my friend’s mouths. So I thought that I would respond here because no, I don’t exist, I should, but I don’t.

Let me tell you about how I got started in photography, it starts off kind of off track of this subject, but it loops around and will make sense once we get to where I am today. So stay with me!

You see, I didn’t just pick up a new DSLR and decide “Hey, look! I’m a professional photographer now!” I got my first camera as a gift from my husband about a year after I had my daughter. He purchased me a Nikon D80 because he figured that would be the less expensive route than me continually taking our daughter to one of those mall stores every few weeks. Back then, I wasn’t into the art; I just wanted super cute images of our daughter to remember.

About a year later my parents called us up to their house for dinner. We found out that my Dad had been diagnosed with cancer. It was in his colon and that as of that time, it looks like they may be able to address the situation. About 6-8 months later, we learned that it had spread and had become terminal.

Here is where the existing in pictures hits. This is where my camera never left my side. This is where I fell in love with the art of imagery as I captured as many images as I could of my family together. 

I caught so many pictures of my dad and my daughter hanging out, playing, and of course napping, I am so happy that I was able to have my camera there to help me get those cherished images.

 

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I have lots of shots like this to look back on, I may not have been professional back then, but I wouldn’t change any of it.

 

But I noticed something just recently. You know how many of those images have me in them? None. I was so wrapped up in capturing everyone else, that I never even thought about putting myself in there. I am thankful for family members grabbing some shots with their phones that I can see, but I think a lot of us get so wrapped up in what is happening around us, that we forget that there are moments that need to be frozen with us in them.

That is where us photographers come in. Put down your cameras and your phones and join in on those moments. Bring in one of the amazing photographers around you and let them capture those times for you, and let them make sure that those snippets of time are preserved.

So where do I go from here? I go from constantly being behind the camera, to taking a deep breath, forgetting all those subconscious things that are floating around in the back of my head to making sure that my daughter will have those images to look back on us having a wondrous time as a family. I go from worrying about being bullied again for not being the “perfect” looking female, to look at us and look how awesome we are.

 

I am going to start existing in pictures. And you know what? You should too.

 

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{An Arboretum Engagement} Mariessa and Sean

Sean proposed to Mariessa near the redwood deck at the Hoyt Arboretum, so what better place for their engagement session. They also brought along their beautiful 1-year-old Irish Wolfhound. 

We looped around the park stopping in the trees, fields of flowers, and on the redwood deck itself. The weather was perfect, and the sun gave us some perfect light peeks through the trees to give them the enchanted field. After they had mentioned their love of all things nerdy, I knew that we were the perfect match for each other. Hiding in trees while talking D&D, her sadness when she realized she left her stuffed Pikachu in the car, and discussing of Tolkien.

Their wedding is up near Sunset Falls at an eclectic private property in September. I can’t wait to have fun with these two again!

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