h&k

      In August of 2014 I reached out to Hannah and Kelty (otherwise know as the forces behind The Weaver House) because I knew I wanted to photograph them. We had some mutual friends, I had followed their work, and their Instagram feed, and I couldn't sit by imagining anymore, I needed to make something happen with these ladies. And because sometimes the universe winks a magical nod in my favor, they responded by telling me they'd just been talking about hiring me. They might have even used the term "kindred spirits" in their initial reply. So we scheduled a family session, and then we rescheduled approximately 100 times, because LIFE got in the way it likes to. But in yet another instance of magical timing, when I did finally get my camera on them (and their girls, and their menfolk), it was on what ended up being our last warm and gorgeous October evening, one that would have made Anne Shirley swoon. I drove home from that session thinking that if I hadn't just created some of my best work, I was going to have to question my future as a family photographer.

      You can decide for yourself what you think, but I'm pretty damn pleased with these results.

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      It's delightful when your imaginations come true, isn't it?

      -Anne of Green Gables

      xo, PQ

      chloe, the girl who stole a little piece of my heart.

      On a perfectly autumnal day in October I met Chloe and her family at their home and we made some pretty pictures of their loving family and super sweet life together. Chloe's mama, Erin, said she wanted photos while Chloe still had a mouth full of baby teeth, and well, I'd say we got them (just look at all those baby-toothy smiles!).  But get this, the very next day when Erin picked her up from school, Chloe had lost her first tooth! Talk about perfect timing...

      I could stop this post right there and have you thinking Chloe is just like every other cheerful five-year-old, because in many ways she is. She loves to sing and dance, do puzzles with her dad, and play with her sweet dog, Clarke. She especially loves all things Star Wars (she was Darth Maul for Halloween!), she has an incredibly infectious laugh, and her freckles go all the way up to her forehead! But what makes Chloe's joyous spirit remarkable is that she battles cystic fibrosis (a deadly genetic disease) every day of her life; in order to just breathe she takes dozens of pills and does hours of breathing treatments every single day.

      Her parents would want you to know that she is so much more than her disease, so I hope I've made that obvious here.  I walked away a bit surprised that she was so exuberant; I guess without realizing it I was expecting Chloe to seem sick, and what makes her so incredible is that despite her illness and treatments that consume hours of each day, she is an absolute delight. The ugliness of her disease is what makes that sparkle in her eye that much brighter to her parents, and I imagine anyone who comes in contact with her. I've said that Chloe stole a little piece or my heart that day, but maybe what I should say is she and her amazing family made it grow a bit bigger. Maybe that sounds cheesy, but it is honestly how I feel, like there's a little chamber in my heart now just for her.

      Another glimpse into the reality of Chloe's world, as well as her family's ongoing fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation can be found here. I encourage you watch the video and give what you can. Soliciting donations is not part of my norm, but well, how can I not in this case? I'll be asking again next spring when they do their walk as well, because this cystic fibrosis business needs its a** kicked, for my pal Chloe, and all the other people battling this ugly disease every day.

      Much love, PQ

      happy place

      Remember how I said at the beginning of this year that my goal was to be a better blogger? Though I've felt like I have indeed accomplished that goal, nothing has made me feel better about it than the private messages and comments I have received from blog followers and clients. This was especially true when Karissa told me during our recent session that this here blog is her "happy place." Sigh; though I wasn't exactly sure what my mission was at the beginning of 2012, beyond blogging more often, I'm gonna go ahead and say mission accomplished.

      I am once again struck by the desire to say all the right words about  this amazing family who I have documented and built a relationship with over the last three years. I want to tell you about how Campbell Rose was itty bitty the last time I saw her, and how this time she straight up bossed me around, and made funny faces for my camera; and about how Chase made his own camera out of paper, with paper photos that came out of it all Polaroid-style (I know!!!), and how Karissa and Steve are so dang sweet that I have a hard time leaving when it's time to say goodbye. But what I really want to say is more general to all of you amazing people who invite me into your lives and homes: YOU are my happy place. I could not let this month of gratitude pass by without thanking you; your trust  in me fuels my flame. THANK YOU.

      Sometimes writing this blog can feel a little like talking to myself; I have to pretend that the hundreds of you who come here each week are my friends and are laughing (or crying) right along with me. Because while I know that you do indeed come by the hundreds, I don't hear a peep out of most of you. And that is fine, I was a silent blog reader for years. It wasn't until I invested more time and energy into this blog that I realized how nice it is to receive feedback. I have talked about being a feedback junky in the past, I completely recognize this flaw in myself, I just don't care. Ha! Ahem, anyway, I certainly don't blame you for not commenting, I have pretty much talked AT you for this last year, so I'm going to make a better attempt to incorporate YOU into this space more. In return I'll ask that if you are so inclined (and please stick around if you're not, I still know you're there) tell me this: where's YOUR happy place?

      xo, PQ

      a little "PS" just for Karissa: look how your strong-willed girl snuck crocs into the photos right at the end!

      logan

      I had four shoots this weekend, my toes are cold, I have a cold, and the coffee hasn't fully kicked in yet, so forgive me for not saying much more than I wish I woke up as cheerful as Logan does. Oh and I wish the sun was shining the way it did that day. In fact, I wish it was summer all year round, but I know many of you true Oregonians don't feel that way. Do I sound ungrateful? I'm SO not, I promise! Just a little chilly and a lot tired! I know that  I am incredibly lucky that a very busy weekend for me means hanging out with super cool families, witnessing and capturing their love, making time stand still, and making memories while we do. I am so thankful for that, and for the follow up emails from parents reporting that their kids want to know when I'm coming back for more play dates, or have asked things like "can Posy babysit me?"  and reports of inspired mock-photo-sessions after our visits.  But see now I am dangerously approaching the not-fully-functioning-brain nonsensical ramblings that I am accustomed to so I'll zip it and bid you a happy Monday, and a week filled with bursts of sunshine and snuggle sessions!

      xo, PQ

      fall in portland

      All of these photos were taken last weekend – four sessions over the course of three days that felt like solid rain, and yet…

       

       

      I was totally planning this whole post about weather and how this time of year we’ve got to plan for rain but that even on the worst days with forecasts of 90% chance of rain and big old doom-and-gloom clouds overhead, even on those ugly days I tend to get my families and all their beautiful love outside for at least part of their shoot. It was going to be funny, and there may have been a joke in there about rescheduling until next July if you want a rain-free session. But I didn’t write it today because after a few sessions were rescheduled I was left with a wide open day to spend with my family and that’s what I did. And now I’m soooooo tired and can’t think of exactly how I wanted to word this (though I’m starting to think I just did). You know that saying about Portland, the one about not liking the weather and just waiting 20 minutes? Well that tends to be how it goes even on our wettest days. We do a dance, hopping in and out, from warm and cozy homes where we read stories, or snuggle in front of the fireplace, to splashing in puddles and collecting colorful leaves; back inside, maybe to a coffee shop this time for some cocoa, and then a dash out onto the front porch. In and out, layers on and off, that’s just how we roll this time of year.

      And now I'm going to bed. Good night!

      xo, PQ