mother's day with the dimoffs, year 2

Maybe you'll remember that Kati and I spent last Mother's Day together, driving for seven hours to shoot film of each other's families in gorgeous (and slightly splintery) hills in Washington? It was fun and beautiful and entirely exhausting, but in the best way. This year... well we just didn't have it in us. We concocted some plans that may or may not play out next year, but Mother's Day 2014 found us at Portland Nursery, where we bought a wagon's worth of lovely succulents, luscious ferns, a few smelly herbs, and some fancy flowers. We casually snapped a few photos, took the kids out for ice cream, and then ditched them with the dads and went to a movie. It was really a wonderful low-key day.

Thanks to Kati for these last two images (and all the other super lovely shots you captured)! So excited to have some updated profile page photos!

mother's day adventuring with the dimoffs

My favorite Tuesday morning coffee date, Kati Dimoff, and I hatched a super plan for a photorific Mother's Day adventure: we'd meet early for coffees and sugary treats, load the kids in our cars and drive for nearly 4 hours to a super windy location in the Yakima Nation, rolling hills covered in tiny prickly grasses that cause invisible tear-inducing splinters, and shoot film of each other's families looking happy and beautiful. Fool proof plan, right? And yet, it worked! We vowed to each other via texts the night before that we would have low expectations, and that we wouldn't loose our patience with our kids -because what ruins Mother's Day faster than feeling like a crappy mom?!  So sure, we spent most of the day driving, but we were powered by sodas and cured meats and the ultimate driving playlist (compiled by none other than the Queen of the Mix Tape herself); we ate taco salads at a cheesy roadside Mexican diner, stopped to consult maps, examined a headless horse skeleton and baby coyote carcass, and even found an abandoned shack covered in caterpillars which required some serious investigation. Our kids and husbands [mostly] cooperated with the photo taking, there was minimal crying, only minor injuries, and Kati and I truly enjoyed ourselves. I'm fairly certain we'll make it an annual event, though maybe next year's location will be just a tad closer.

I wasn't brave enough to just shoot film, so this a mix of digital and film (and one iPhone shot there at the end, because come on, they're just so cute!).  Make sure you click on over to Kati's blog to see her pics too!

kissing dinosaurs and chasing seagulls


It's good having talented friends with whom I can trade photos sessions; Kati and I hatched this Cannon Beach plan last spring on one of those dreary gray cold-to-the-bone days, and it came to fruition on a perfectly gorgeous day in late August. Franny and I went first, and you can see those fuh-reak-ing amazing pics here (seriously, I need to write a whole blog post about how much it means to me to have gorgeous photos of me and my girl). We followed our session with dinner at Mo's - classic clam chowder and clam strips style - and then dragged Kati's family out onto the beach for some sunset sand digging and t-rex kisses. You might think that Muller is the cutest shaggy-haired 2 1/2 year old boy you've ever seen, sneaking up on his sister with a dino-kiss attack, and you'd be right - I call him my" baby boyfriend" so often that I think Kati is growing concerned for my sanity - but for me, it was Lola who stole the show on this evening. Lola... well she is a bit of an enigma. I adore her, truly, and yet, I am having a very hard time putting into words what exactly is so magical about her. I think it is precisely that,  that I am unable to pinpoint her with a label. She is intense and insightful and sometimes so reserved that when big smiles and child-like aspects come out of her I am taken aback for a second and reminded that she is indeed a child. And she is, as you can see, stunning. I love love love every picture I snapped of Lola alone on the beach. Kati grew up on the Oregon Coast, and as you can see from the images she captured of me and Franny, the beach is her canvas, lady was born to photo people on the beach. And Lola, Lola was born to be photographed on the beach. I mean, just look at her.

tuesday morning special


Kati is snarky, hilarious, and a serial interrupter. Kati is also a talented family photographer living in St Johns, so technically competition right here on my home turf. We are different in as many ways as we are alike, so our pairing was one of those things where it could have gone either way, but luckily for me it went in the best direction: friends. This solo-entrepreneur gig is so, well, solo sometimes. Yes we get to connect with amazing people regularly, and for that we are incredibly lucky. But the work part, the time we spend glued to our computers staring at bright screens analyzing, comparing, and sometimes over thinking our process, that time is usually spent alone. And all the business decisions big and small, are made, for the most part, on our own. The ins and outs of the photography business world are navigated and absorbed alone. The frustrations, the sticky-tricky bits of running a business, and there are occasionally those even in this love-drenched line of work, those are especially nice to work out with someone else's input. And that's where Kati comes in. Actually, Kati isn't the only business owner I "work" with, nor is she my only photographer friend, but she and her sweet sweet boy Muller have been my Tuesday Morning Special for the last eight or nine months and I am so grateful for it. Our girls go to preschool together, and on that second day of the week, we head from preschool towards the nearest coffee shop, supply Mulls with sweet treats and toys, and then we dish. We interrupt each other. We talk with our hands. We swear occasionally and "ohmygawd I didn't tell you" even more. We celebrate our victories and hash out our mistakes. And in between we text each other, a lot. It's awesome. I'm sure it doesn't surprise you that I am not a lone wolf personality, which is why I consider myself lucky to be building up my pack. And really,drinking coffee and "talking shop" while watching this sweet boy nuzzle his mama's hair (his lovey), it's a win-win-WIN!

We recently celebrated the last day of preschool with a picnic out on Sauvie Island; Lola and Franny were too busy catching imaginary butterflies to end up in these photos, though Lols did jump in for a few mama-snugs...

xo, PQ