our thirteen together

If you've read this blog for more than five minutes you know I am plentiful in favorites; I used to think it was impossible to pick a favorite, until I realized that favorites aren't exclusive. I don't have a favorite food, song, movie, pair of boots... you get the idea. So when I sit down to write a blog post I start nearly every one calling the family in the photos "my favorite" and then scratching it because YOU ARE ALL MY FAVORITE. And trying to narrow down a  year that was cram-packed with awesomeness, into a select handful of favorite images, well as far as I'm concerned, it just can't be done; keeping this one under 200 was almost more than I could handle. In the end, I'm sharing one hundred and seventy-something favorite images from 2013, yours and mine, ours together.


I will never be able to express enough gratitude to you for what you have all given me over these years together, so I'll just keep saying it every chance I get: thank you.

xo, PQ

ari's wildwood adventure party

Back in April Ari turned six and celebrated with an epic Wildwood-inspired adventure at the Audobon Society, and an Angry Bird Star Wars themed cake, because, you know, his parents are totally freaking rad.
The wooded journey began when the kiddos each chose their preferred group: Birds at the Avian Principality, magical North Wood creatures, or Bandits at the Bandit Camp. Each group was assigned a leader who possessed a map of the forest (Wildwood). They were instructed to follow the map and complete their assignments as they went (find a place to set up camp (Bandits), find 6 birds, find 6 forest creatures, etc.). The Dowager Governess was lurking through the forest, eager to snatch any creature or fight a bandit. She was determined to destroy the forest for her own good, using ivy as her weapon (because it could consume the forest and she would take power). But luckily (for the forest? the kids? the fun of the party?!) Elder Mystic, Ephiginia, informed all of the children about the power of the ivy and how they could use it "for good" to influence the Dowager Governess. At the end of their adventures, they all met at "the plinth" by the water where Ari's mama collected the tools they had "earned" by doing their assigned tasks along the way. The trinkets (owl, shovel, soldier, etc.) represented important items used or needed to save the forest. These were displayed on a wooden tree (so symbolic!). Eventually, the Dowager Governess came down to "the plinth" where the kids wrapped her in ivy, which magically changed her from evil to good. At the end of the party, they all received a bag with 6 magic stones to take home, in a bag stamped with with a block print of  St. Johns Bridge (which is where the Wildwood adventure begins in the first book), drawn and carved by Ari's talented dad, who also made the crazy cake. Because this kid's parents are not just rad, they're crazy creative and talented.
Oh and there was a raven named Ari. No joke.
xo, PQ

Mustaches, Trapeze, Hula Hoops, Graffiti and a Train


class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">

Ari's parents throw kick-ass parties. Remember when Ari rocketed to the moon for his 4th? Well clearly Allison and Tom had to outdo themselves for their boy's 5th. And boy did they! There was a request for attendees to wear costumes, and a mandate for them to sport mustaches; there was a trapeze class and a mustache cake; there were playmats and a bean bag toss (constructed by Ari's parents, of course). Spider Man came, and Captain America too. There were a few tears shed, many laughs had, and much love spread. I can't wait to see what these guys come up with next year!

Mavis Turns One

I was going to write about how much I love photographing birthday parties, but I have already done that (here and here and here). Just to be clear: I REALLY LOVE PHOTOGRAPHING BIRTHDAY PARTIES. Moving on.  

 Autumn is One Crafty Mama. She’s also a blogger, who just so happened to already blog about this big day. You can read it here.

Preschooler-style height comparison. Is EVERYTHING a competition at this age? It sure seems so. I've been calling it the "st" stage - I'm talleST, firST, fasteST, strongeST, oldeST... Hmm, it seems this is going to be a stream of conscious blog post. Alrighty then, moving on...
 Step off my tater tot, Cuz.
Autumn may have said hiring me was her best party idea ever, and I can't really argue with that, but I'm gonna give her credit for her second best idea: hiring The Balloon Guy. Seriously, this guy is crazy just in the way you want your birthday party entertainment to be. He kept the kids completely entertained throughout the party, while their parents sipped beers and chatted. We cannot underestimate the power of parents being given the time to talk and drink a beer, right? Right. He also sent them home with amazing party favors, he even sent me home with one for Franny. His balloon creations were the best I've seen. 
Second. Best. Idea. EVER. 

 Favorite photo of the party. I love capturing these little moments.
 Yep, the guy juggles too. 

  Oh Mavis, how I heart your chubby cheeks and serious expressions.

 (this one is just for you, Kati)

I'll get in trouble if I say cutest family ever, so I'll just say this: I freaking ADORE these people.
Happy birthday, Sweet Mavis. 

Ari's Rockin' to the Moon 4th Birthday Party

Back in April, I know, I know, I'm a bit behind, with no good excuse, well plenty of excuses but you don't need to hear them.  Aren't I so good at digressing?  Ahem, back in April this gorgeous, hilarious, sweet sweet boy turned 4, and his amazingly cool parents not only hosted an incredible music and space themed party, but they hired me to document it for them.  I know, cool right?!
As always, we started with a little mini session with just the family.  These photos were taken just outside of Mississippi Pizza, where the festivities took place. 
They made their own rockets 
and Ari's dad made him a rocket cake.  I told you!  Ah-may-ziiiiiing!
Happy [late, late, LATE] birthday, Space Cowboy.

Mia Marie is Three :: Portland Birthday Party Photographer

I first met Mia when she was just eight months old.  I captured images of her then that I still treasure today, and since then have photographed her family 10 times, including her 1st, 2nd, and now 3rd birthday party!  Many of my favorite have been of this family, and as they continue to grow (Mia and Sophie's mama is pregnant with her third!) I will continue to be there to capture their memories.  This is a true honor and one of the greatest gifts I receive from being a family photographer.


When I arrived to photograph Mia's party she was still asleep.  Under most circumstances I would wait for the child to wake up, or let the parents wake her and prepare her for her session.  But not with this family.  I quietly walked into Mia's room, sat on her bed and rubbed her back until she awoke.  She sat with me for a while, and when her dad walked by her room she exclaimed "Daddy, Posy's here!"  I then dressed her, photographed her, fed her, snuggled her when she bumped her head, and sang "Happy Birthday" with the rest of the family and friends.  Yes, I am there because I have been hired, but the beautiful thing about photographing a family time and again is the transition from hired photographer, to family member and trusted friend.  Although I would argue that I do a good job befriending children upon first meeting them, integrating myself into their worlds in order to capture the most honest portraits, there is something to be said for seeing children again and again over time.  I have bonded with so many children during this journey, and I hold all of those little relationships very closer to my heart.


(It feel the need to tell you  that I did not request that these two do this, Jake and Mia have are good little buddies who have known each other since birth, and I have more than one image like this from previous birthday parties.  I am lucky enough to have photographed Jake and his family a number of times as well.)
When I am hired to photograph a birthday party, that is my primary goal, making gorgeous images of your child's birthday celebration.  I get there before the festivities begin and have a mini session with the birthday girl or boy, and their family.  For the party, I usually set up a little photo station where I can pull each kid aside and snap a few photos of them before sending them back to enjoy their friends.  Of course I photograph all the sweetness of  little friendships and family interactions, and the party details as well; I stick around until after the cake plates have been licked clean and the floor is scattered with torn wrapping paper.  If you would like to see more examples, you can view a gallery of birthday party photos on my website under the "Events" section.  Happy weekend!
Aw man, I just LOVE this girl.