In the Woods of Hood :: Portland, Oregon Family Photographer

Christy started out as a client somewhere around two years ago;  I am lucky to now call her a friend, a dear close friend, a trusted peer, and a cheerleader!  Like I said, lucky!  So when Christy told me her whole family would be here in August and wanted to hire me to photograph them in the woods on Mt. Hood, you might say I was a little giddy.  Or a lot. 
 I had to resist the urge to name this post "Damn! I love this family!!"  I really, really do.
I've been photographing Petra Blueberry since she was in the womb.  I like to think we have a special bond.  Seriously, if I could spread her on toast like butter and eat her up I would.  Woops, I mean like vegan margarine, sorry Christy. 
Her big sister, Eleanor is equally as awesome and is on my daughter's short list of favorite people.  This photo of her and her heart-shaped leaf is a great example of why I infrequently pose people or tell them what to do.  She raced over to this leaf, hollered at us to come see, and I snapped two photos, one of the top of her head looking at the leaf, and this one as she looked up at me.  Then I asked her to hold the leaf out for me, and posed her a bunch with the leaf.  I'll be honest, those photo aren't great.  This one though?  This one I love.
Cousins!  Teamwork!  Cuteness times three!
 Eleanor and Petra's cousin Annika with her parents, all the way in from New York.  I was excited to finally meet, and photograph, these folks.
I love this; I don't know what you see, but I see Miss Eleanor, rule-following and obliging, exasperated with the antics of her ever-so-unruly little sister.   Let me be clear, Eleanor is an extremely patient and kind big sister, older cousin and friend,  but she knows I have  the mission of getting a photo for Grandma with her three girls, and she also knows Petra is going to make it... FUN!
Hello authentic family portrait!
 Petra and Grandpa.  Squeeeeeee!
I'm not kidding, I want to eat her up.  

The family that bowls together...

Storyboard 1
I love this family.  I know, I know, not only am I a broken record with the "I love" business, but I'm a broken record about being a broken record!  How can I not say it about these guys though?  Here's the story:   I first heard from Ryan during the fall of 2009; he had come across my photos in the St. Johns bookstore, and then realized that I was the photographer behind the Gilt ads he had been enjoying for years.  His family hired me to take their family portrait in November of that year, shortly after their son William had been born.  They live walking distance from my home, they have an incredibly delightful daughter named Aili, a sweet springer spaniel named Tess, and a comfortable casual home and family.  I couldn't help but love them.  So of course I was psyched when they hired me again during fall of 2010 for an update on the family portrait.  We caught some sunshine on an up-to-that-point rainy day in November, so we hit a trail on Sauvie Island and had a blast.  The photos came out great.  But that's not even what I am blogging about here today!  I know, shut up already and get on with it already.  Ryan emailed me in December to say that his family would be coming for the holidays and his dad wanted to hire me to photograph the entire family together.  This was huge, Ryan explained, as his father had always been against having a portrait made of the family during Ryan's youth.  But his dad, he went on, loved the photos I had captured for them and wanted some of his own!  They didn't need more than a few group shots of everyone together, and despite being nature-lovers, it was just too dang cold for an outdoor session.  So they got to thinking outside the box, and asked if I would be game for a bowling family session. Can I say HELL YEAH on a family photo blog?  Hell yeah I can!  This is why I love this family!  
Storyboard 2
There were just so many fun shots from this session, here are a few more favorites...
We did, of course, get the obligatory group shots, but even those were fun (see below)...
An important note on cuteness:  Mr. Amazing was very sick the day we took these photos.  He was a great sport and even perked up (or tylenol kicked in?) when we got to the bowling alley.  But these family portraits do not do justice to his serious cuteness, and I am extra thankful that we had seen each other on that much sunnier day in the fall.