our happy place

We are there on birthdays and half birthdays, rainy days, play dates, not-sure-what-to-do afternoons; we use it as both a reward, and as a consolation prize. My girl has LOVED this carousel whole heartily for as long as she can remember, with a special place in her heart for Amy. Franny goes to Amy first, and almost-exclusively rides her, and I know she's not the only girl who feels this way (read more about Amy's history here). On April 22nd of this year, that's in just three short weeks (gasp!) the carousel will be packed up as part of the remodel of Jantzen Beach; the carousel will be restored, though its future home is unknown at this time. We went last Thursday for a quick visit to see Amy, and as we were leaving Franny said: That's so sad that the carousel is going away, Amy is really going to miss me. Sigh. I just know I'm going to cry on our last ride!
To see many more beautiful photos of the carousel, check out my friend (and fellow photog) Kati's blog; she was there just hours before us on Thursday, and her lucky kiddos got to ride 10 times! so she could capture these stunning images
I don't think I need to tell you to haul ahem booty out to Jantzen Beach and ride ride ride before it's too late! 
xo

PQP is 4

Four years ago today I hit go on www.photoposy.com; I am delighted with how far we have come in four years, but I'm gonna call a spade and spade and admit that I am in a foul mood today. I'm tired, this weather bums me out, I've got sick family members and friends, and I'm just plain crabby. But fret not, I have an awesome giveaway in the works, I have some really fun photo sessions to edit, and some more exciting sessions on the calendar. I'm going to come back here soon with a cheerful post full of happy photos and a fun giveaway. I promise. For now, I leave you with this beautiful, serious, four-and-a-half year old girl of mine, who NEVER wants to be photographed, but set this shot up and asked me to take her photo. And seeing as how I used photos of her growth in last year's birthday post, I thought it would be appropriate to share this one today. 
[insert heart emoticon here]
As my old friend Jenny from Bay Ridge would say "don't be scared" (that's pronounced scayed with a Brooklyn accent), I'll be back to myself here soon. In the meantime I'm gonna throw on some rain gear and head out in search of my unicorns, or at least some chai from my favorite cafe. 
xo, pq

Having Fun :: Week 2 of construction

What will eventually serve as my workspace is currently acting as a somewhat dangerous but extremely fun playground for Franny. The biggest challenge has been that she wants to be out there all the time; she thinks of things she "needs" to tell Bruce when he arrives in the morning, and pleads with us to let her play out there as soon as they've left for the day. (Worry not, although I'm sure the contractor would prefer we keep her out of there entirely, she is NEVER out there unattended, and we always leave it as we found it.) She's having so much fun "helping"...
and playing,
is feeling proud of her "accomplishments,"
 and is being thoroughly entertained.  
I'm pretty sure we've never watched an entire episode of Bob the Builder, but can say with confidence that having Bruce the Builder and his team, live action in our backyard, is far more entertaining than any t.v. show.
I took these last two with my phone, so yeah, the quality isn't great, but they were too fun not to share!
xo

In Like a Lion

Apparently the saying "In like a lion, out like a lamb" refers to what Mother Nature provides on March 1st as a prediction for how the month will end. One might argue that this morning's dusting of snow, not even enough to cancel preschool, was more of a meow than a roar; that March came in like a lion cub, or even a fuzzy domesticated kitten. But I'm calling this a lion by Portland's standards, and I'm going to go ahead and plan on a nice warm beautiful end of March.
This year has been busier than I expected based on years past  - this is supposed to be the "slow season" -but I have not been slow. I have just three photo session slots left in March, and a few more than that in April. If you are thinking of booking a spring time photo session, please do it soon! Sunshine, cherry blossoms, and good times are ahead, Mother Nature tells me so. 
Happy March, Lovelies!
xo,
PQ

Breaking Ground

What you are looking at is the future home of Posy Quarterman Photography, Inc., or what my husband refers to as "Rudy Quarterman Industries" (Matt and Franny represent the Rudy sect). The top two photos were taken on Friday (with my phone). Our fence was moved to make room for what will be an ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unity) by late summer. A two story structure with a small living space for guests, and a loft lit by skylights which will serve as my office. I dream that someday clients will be able to place print orders in person. I see white walls and lots of light, shelves of books and old cameras, a wall of framed prints and photos. I'm realizing as I type this that I'm not accurately communicating how excited I am. There are freaking unicorns leaping over rainbows just above that fence, Dudes, you just can't see them. I am bursting with excitement over this project. Wait, that's not quite right. I'm not actually looking forward to our backyard being torn up, to listening to construction noise while I work for the next six months, to the backyard becoming a giant mud pit, or to the fact that I can't let Franny run freely through the yard. No, not at all excited for the project. But the end result has me on a rainbow high. 
Last evening while I was cooking dinner Matt mentioned the tradition of ceremonially breaking ground with a golden shovel. He said "golden shovel" and I heard "photo op." Also, Franny looooooves gold right now (unicorn horns). She loves mud too, and helping, so I knew she'd be game. The construction peeps were scheduled to come bright and early this morning, my girl was tired and hungry, and after scouring the basement we discovered that we don't own any gold spray paint. How can this be? Despite my temptation to scrap dinner, order a pizza and rush out for paint, I resisted that urge. A rusty shovel would have to do. I put all the burners on low, grabbed the camera, and let Franny officially break ground. 
 
 
I'm hoping you don't mind coming along for this ride; there are sure to be blog posts loaded with construction photos throughout the building process. This may not be what you would expect from a family photographer's blog, but as I said, I'm 'cited. Also, I think diggers are cool. 
 

Our Year

You invite me into your homes and your world so often, I thought it would be nice to end the year by inviting you into ours. Here is what 2011 looked like for us. 
January
We said a fond farewell to long hair and, gulp, pigtails.
February
An unexpected snow day.
March.
April
 April brought us bunnies.
May
In May my girl discovered Annie and spent a good six to eight weeks only wearing red, singing the songs (constantly) and requiring us to refer to her as "Annie," which, thankfully, is very close to her actual name.
June
First day of the St Johns Farmer's Market, tired by ready.
In June we spent a week in lovely Vancouver, BC.
July
All summer long I came home from photo sessions to heart-bursting father/daughter scenes like this. 
Franny's first real person drawing (looks like a lion to me) was not of mom or dad, nor herself, but of our beloved nanny, Abbi. There are no less than three A's on there, just in case you can't tell it's Abbi.
August 
We did Pickathon and loved it. 
September
She looks for him every morning when we come downstairs and snugs him like this until he just can't take it anymore. (Please ignore the dirty kitchen floor.)
October
My girl turned 4.
2011 was without question the year of the unicorn.
November
Our Thanksgiving princess.
On December 1st I turned 35 and the sun shined all day, and pretty much all month, with rain holding off until the 25th. December 2011 was my favorite December in recent memory. 
Nutcracker. 
Christmas Eve. Why yes, there is a fire burning, on our television. Twenty points for the first person to spot the hidden unicorn in this photo.
Christmas morning. 
Thirteen years ago I went home from a New Year's Eve party with this guy. That worked out pretty well, I'd say.
And that's it. 
I hope you come back for more in 2012, I'm really excited to see what it brings us.
xo, pq 

happy happy.

Wherever you are,
 Whatever you may be celebrating, 
We are sending you loads of love, warmth, comfort, 
and wishes for peace, merriment and light in 2012.
(Frances applied all the stamps to our holiday cards this year.)

gratitude

Last week I was on the receiving end of a message that rendered me speechless, made me teary-eyed, caused my heart to burst and head to explode. Okay, I exaggerate, but the message came with a lot of heart, and it felt tremendous to be the recipient. I have read and re-read it, and am still wavering on whether I want to share it or keep it close. But that is the whole point of writing this post: Sharing Gratitude. I will not paste the entire message here, but the summary came three quarters of the way in, when my client and friend wrote these words:
Posy, the view that you have on the world, the view that you share with those of us lucky enough to know you, is so absolutely important. By doing what you do (and, it seems to me, just by being who you are) you're helping to both create and document a solid chunk of the 90% of everything that's going right in the world. And that's something I think we'd all do well to stop and see more of.

Do you see how being on the receiving end of such kindness and gratitude might leave one without words? I decided to share this with you because it was so powerful receiving this message, and because it made me realize that we need to do this more often. There is no reason to wait for Thanksgiving, birthdays, and other holidays, to send cards, words of love, encouragement and thanks; We should do it just as soon as the moment strikes us. So I encourage all of you, next time one of your friends pops into your head, take a few minutes and write them a card, send them a text, holler at them on Facebook, call them, do whatever you do to communicate with people. I promise you it will stay with them a great deal longer than it will take you to compose the message.
Happy Thanksgiving.
xo

The Reluctant Child :: Portland, Oregon Family Photography

Some kids are not so crazy about being told what to do (um, most kids?), some kids prefer being on my side of the camera, some kids are really shy, and some kids are so camera phobic they get excused from school photo day.  Henry is in the latter group, so when his mom contacted me about having family photographs taken, she explained that I would have a challenge to overcome.  We spoke at length about her son's reluctance, and ways we would work around it without making him feel like he was being tricked into something.  We hatched a plan, we checked in with each other prior to the session, and then I just showed up one morning and photographed the family doing their thing.  Because that's what I love to do - let kids call the shots, literally, and capture them being themselves. It is more common that a child have some resistance to the photo session than not.  Honestly, when a child just sits down and starts posing I don't know what to do with myself (okay, not true, I snap a few shots and then I try to get them to laugh and be silly).  
If you have resisted having your family photographed because you have a reluctant child, know this, I do too.  My daughter Frances is four, and for the last two years she has become increasingly camera-shy.  Initially I thought it was because I photographed her every move, but as she has grown into herself more, I have come to realize that it is just part of her personality; I see it in other aspects of life as well, it isn't just the camera, for her it is more the attention on her and expectation.  So as you can imagine, when I scheduled not one but two photo sessions for our family this year, I was pretty sure at least one would be a bust.  My goal was to get photographs of us together, but I really never expected her to face the camera and be her normal goofy self.  You should have seen the way she worked it for the photographers - she was over the top Franny.  I tell you this because sometimes kids really turn it on for other people, sometimes they do just the opposite of what you would expect (okay, most of the time), and more frequently than sometimes, kids eventually drop their guards and relax into themselves, making for photos that may not be deemed "proper" family portraits, but something bigger and so much better: records of your family as they were for this fleeting moment in time. 

Encourage Your Young Photographer! :: Portland, Oregon Child Photography

(You're going to have to click the image to enlarge it enough to read.)
When Melissa Favara contacted me for her article in Metro Parent’s July issue, I was delighted!  I love her column (Going Places with Ramona), and was honored that of all the family photographers in Portland, Melissa's editor suggested she talk to me.  How fun it is to see my name (and "sage" advice, ha!) in print, but even more fun is seeing Franny's.  She was so excited when I read it to her this morning; first she said “Posy Quarterman!” excitedly, but when I read the part about herself, she exclaimed “Franny? Franny!”  Melissa’s phone call came with perfect timing because just a few weeks beforehand, I had given Franny a camera to run around with.  In one of those we-live-for-this-moment parental moments, all snuggled up in my arms, Franny declared:  “Mama, when I grow up I want to be a ‘otographer like you.”  How could I not get her started?  Though in all honesty, she received her first camera just after she turned 2, one of those “indestructible” made-for-kids cameras.  It stunk.  The quality of photos was so lousy and it stopped working after a few months.  So now she’s walking around with a pretty decent point-n-shoot, and I have to say, I think she’s creating some mighty cute images!  See for yourself…
Her self portraits are my favorite, though the little vignettes of her world are pretty awesome too, and I just LOVE that photo of our shadows.  I followed my own advice and let her do her own thang while shooting - no direction from Mama, I promise!  (She's 3 1/2, if I gave her direction she would just go do the opposite thing anyway!)  Maybe I'm biased, but I think she's a good little 'otographer.

We picked up this book, Quincy the Hobby Photographer, at St John's Booksellers.  It is a guide to becoming a dog photographer and Franny loves all of the goofy dog photos inside.  I think she may have found her niche.

Happy First Day of Summer!


Alright so the first day of summer is not until tomorrow,  but our family is kicking off summer TODAY by taking off for Vancouver, BC for a week.  There will be no phone calls, facebooking or checking of email, just parks, pools, adventures, sushi, and most importantly, family time!  When we return we will be refreshed and ready to start checking off some of the fun things on our summer list.  What are YOU doing this summer?

happy spring

Here's to a weekend filled to the brim with sunshine, bright colors, laughing children, chocolate bunnies and MORE sunshine!  

Preserving those memories...

TwoCrewBook_1_4blog

At some point in 2009 my daughter and her little gang of toddler friends became known as the 2 Crew; I don't know which mama gave them this label, but it stuck.  Throughout their year of being 2 these kids saw each other a lot - a nanny share group, many play dates, music time, visits to OMSI, the ,zoo, etc.  And every couple of weeks the mamas tucked the 2 crew into their beds and hit the local bar for a 2 Crew Mamas Night OUT!

But as we have learned throughout this journey called Parenthood, life is ever-transforming and as quickly as we found ourselves in a comfortable routine, things changed.  The kids turned three, many of them started preschool and all of a sudden we found ourselves struggling to find a day of the week when we all could get together.

Although I was unsure of what the future held, I knew changes would come with 3, and so last summer as the parties were being planned, the potty training was in full force, and change was in the air, I decided to give each 2 Crew member a very special 3rd birthday gift.

TwoCrewBook_2_4blog

TwoCrewBook_3_4blog

Long live the 2 Crew!

2 crew last play date sept 2010_4blog

Bailey, Iris, Nova Rose, Juniper, Lelia, Oliver, Eleanor, and in back, the daughter of the photographer refusing to participate in this photo moment, Frances.

UPDATE: One of my most favorite blogs, ohdeedoh re-posted this and I could not be more DELIGHTED!  I love their blog and am honored to have a little spot of my own on there.