taj

HulmeBlog_01HulmeBlog_02HulmeBlog_03HulmeBlog_04HulmeBlog_05HulmeBlog_06HulmeBlog_07HulmeBlog_09HulmeBlog_08HulmeBlog_10HulmeBlog_11HulmeBlog_12HulmeBlog_13HulmeBlog_14HulmeBlog_15HulmeBlog_16HulmeBlog_17HulmeBlog_18HulmeBlog_19HulmeBlog_20HulmeBlog_21HulmeBlog_22HulmeBlog_23 That thing where despite all the raw emotions running rampant during those first weeks of parenting, the sheer love between brand new parents and their sweet baby shines through. I love that thing.

Hopefully Taj's mama Audrey won't mind me sharing what she said to me, because I thought it so perfectly summed up the heart of parenting. She said: I have never known love (or fear) like this before. 

Doesn't that just say it all? 

xo, PQ

 

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.

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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

the mahaffy clan

MahaffyBlog_001_20131014MahaffyBlog_002_20131014MahaffyBlog_003_20131014MahaffyBlog_004_20131014MahaffyBlog_005_20131014MahaffyBlog_006_20131014MahaffyBlog_007_20131014MahaffyBlog_008_20131014MahaffyBlog_009_20131014MahaffyBlog_010_20131014MahaffyBlog_011_20131014MahaffyBlog_012_20131014MahaffyBlog_013_20131014MahaffyBlog_014_20131014MahaffyBlog_015_20131014MahaffyBlog_016_20131014MahaffyBlog_017_20131014MahaffyBlog_018_20131014MahaffyBlog_019_20131014MahaffyBlog_020_20131014MahaffyBlog_021_20131014MahaffyBlog_022_20131014MahaffyBlog_023_20131014MahaffyBlog_024_20131014MahaffyBlog_025_20131014MahaffyBlog_026_20131014MahaffyBlog_027_20131014MahaffyBlog_028_20131014MahaffyBlog_029_20131014MahaffyBlog_030_20131014MahaffyBlog_031_20131014MahaffyBlog_032_20131014MahaffyBlog_033_20131014MahaffyBlog_034_20131014MahaffyBlog_035_20131014MahaffyBlog_036_20131014 My favorite little gingerhead boy in the neighborhood, Seamus, his sweet-as-sugar little brother Ferguson, and their parents, Jack and Megan, who I absolutely adore :: Leaf piles, pigeon chasing, and tree bark inspections, outside of Grandma and Grampa's Pearl District condo on a mild November day :: Big smiles and piano playing with Grandpa :: A ride on the Portland Streetcar, a special treat for train-loving Seamus :: A visit to Jack's favorite place on Earth (Powells City of Books) :: A tired little snuggler tucked tight into Mama's carrier :: Oh, and a Little Richard dance party.

It doesn't get better than this, folks.

xo, PQ

baby at the bar

My Staten Island-based childhood memories include faded images of maroon vinyl bar stools, my favorite minestrone soup, wooden bowls full of salty pretzels, and peanuts still in the shell. I don't know when the law changed in New York, but before it did it wasn't uncommon to see kids hanging out at a bar with their parents. These days that seems nearly unimaginable. Unless, of course, your parents own a bar (and then you can be there only when it is closed); Marli and Bart run The Fixin' To in St. Johns, and their smart and funny daughter, Emmylou, isn't yet old enough to realize how cool her parents are, or that she's the only kid in Portland who gets to eat bunny crackers off the bar of the F2.

Our session was the perfect mix of at-home and on-location, with the location being a perfectly authentic-to-them spot, and a new-to-me exciting adventure. I never thought I'd find myself chasing a baby around a bar on a Monday morning, but I quite enjoyed myself, and I love the results.

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xo, PQ

happy '14

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To my dear clients, friends, and blog readers,

May 2014 bring you as much laughter, joy, thoughtfulness, and love, as you all shined on me in 2013. As a thank you, and a fun way to kick off the first quarter of the year, I'm offering a $50 discount on all sessions booked in the next 14 days, to take place by 3/31/2014 (session must be booked and deposit paid by 1/14/2014).

Happy new year!

xo,

PQ

 

costume party

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The first time I met Melissa was four or five years ago at New Seasons; her blog was one of the first I had ever followed, and I recognized the boys in her shopping cart. I fumbled over my words and completely embarrassed myself, saying something along the lines of It's so weird how I feel like I know your family but you have no idea who I am. Not creepy at all.

Cut to this summer when I finally got her rad not-so-little family in front of my camera (something I'll admit I had wanted for a long time). Her kids have an incredible dress-up box and love to perform, they spend a lot of time at home and around the neighborhood, so it seemed obvious that we would incorporate those elements of  their everyday into our session. I'd say it worked out...

xo,

PQ

jenn

JennFBlog_001JennFBlog_002JennFBlog_003JennFBlog_004JennFBlog_005JennFBlog_006JennFBlog_007JennFBlog_008JennFBlog_009JennFBlog_010JennFBlog_011JennFBlog_012JennFBlog_013JennFBlog_014JennFBlog_015JennFBlog_016JennFBlog_017JennFBlog_018JennFBlog_019JennFBlog_020JennFBlog_021JennFBlog_022 Jenn contacted me in early July, to say that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and was wondering if I could squeeze in a family session before her treatment started. Of course we made it happen. And of course, when we did we created magic together. Because when kids are present with their parents, magic happens no matter what is going on behind the scenes.

This is not my first or even second session with a parent diagnosed with a life-altering illness. I hate that it is getting easier. It is such a mixed bag of emotions, both wishing I wasn' t having to do it (in that, I wish the cancer wasn't there in the first place), and feeling so enormously honored by the request. I love that I can do this for people, I feel incredibly lucky to have this job, and I also know it isn't about me. This isn't my story, or my illness, and my job is to observe and document for them. And I love, love, that despite the looming illness and treatments, and all the unknowns of the future, these children of ours are just children, they come as themselves with no worries on their shoulders, and they don't allow us to wallow, because they need us to do our jobs.

These sessions sometimes feel bigger than others, more important, maybe because of the immediate threat, but really none of us know what tomorrow will bring. I know I've said it before, and I know you've all read someone's blog post, Facebook status, that Huffington Post article, or maybe you saw this post by Deb Schwedhelm, and I probably don't need to say it again but I'm going to anyway: put yourself in the pictures. Can't swing it financially? Fine, just hand the camera off. Be documented with your children. Give them something to hold in their hands when they can't hold yours anymore, because whether that day comes next week or in 60 years, it will come.

Stepping down from my pedestal now.

xo, PQ

 

burko bear

I don’t know the story of how Burko came to be George and Nina’s son, or how Burko’s birthmother Mindi, his “Muumba,” came to be their family. What I do know is that no matter how cliché the saying, love indeed does make a family, and this family let love win. Bearing witness to their love and respect for each other, and the way in which they have made themselves a family, was powerful and moving. Actually it was bigger than that, it was something I felt in my chest and gut and have carried with me since that day. I am truly honored they trusted me to capture their family for them.

Oh and this, this song they wrote for Burko, and sang to him out in their backyard, it made me cry behind the camera…

Burko bear Burko bear

You're our Burko bear

 And we love you so,

no matter how big you grow

 And your Muumba's your North Star

She's with you wherever you are

 Burko bear Burko bear

You're our Burko bear.

xo, PQ

hazel and george

If George had his way, his sister would be called Baby Burger; thankfully his parents have known for years that her name would be Hazel. I'm alternating between calling her Baby Fauxhawk and Baby Fuzzhead. I mean, SHE'S SO FUZZY! Alright, I'll try to calm down, but thing is, Kristine is one of my nearest and dearest, and we had our first babies around the same time, and I took photos of George at 2 days old in the hospital, and I'm just SO EXCITED that Hazel is finally here.

But not as excited as George. That boy was born to be a big brother, rocking the same big-bro t-shirt two days in a row, bouncing with excitement, and climbing all over whoever was holding Hazel. Sure he pouted a little during my visits, but only because I asked him to let me take some photos without him in them. I know, I'm so mean. He was right there when she cried, telling her "it's okaaaayyyy" in the sweetest little big brother voice, pressing her little button nose, changing her diaper for the first time like a champ, and proudly holding her on his lap for their first photo as a family of four. If my heart was skipping beats, I can't even imagine what their parents must have been feeling. Their parents. So fun to think my friends finally have the set of siblings they've been dreaming about for years.

xo, PQ

everett wayne

 

I don't have adequate words for how much I loved this session, this house, this baby, these dogs, this FAMILY. Everett Wayne and his strong armed Houdini-style swaddle escape tactics; Layla and Sonny, their big ears, curious eyes, and snorty snuggles; Adam and  his baby-whispering and dog wrangling skills, love of coffee and beer; Misty and her ease with this whole new motherhood thang, her green eyes and calm smile, and her familiarity  that had me walking away wondering Is she someone famous that I should be recognizing? That front window, those camellia bushes and cherry blossom trees, their movie theater seats on the porch,the  floral curtains, vintage camera, and record player, their comfort with me, as if we were old friends... see I told you, I don't have the right words so I'm just listing all the things that were tumbling around in my head as I drove home from this session all up on Cloud 10 and beyond.

Oooo but it's Wednesday, Franny Day around here, and before her episode of Blue's Clues ends I've got to hi gon this post, so I'll just leave you with my blissed-out ramblings and hope you get me, and don't just click away thinking  I've finally jumped the shark, or more accurately, the unicorn.

xo, PQ

first, again.

My first session of 2013 was scheduled to be a new family I've never photographed, so you know, new year, new family, seemed right, and I was, of course, excited. But due to illness that session got bumped out to later in the month. And so it was, these lovelies were my first session of 2013, just as they had been my first session of 2012.  This time around, as you can see, there was an additional member of their crew: Fergusson. You may also remember their session last fall,when Baby F was still warm and cozy on the inside. So you know by now that I really love these guys, and was naturally thrilled to start my year with them, again, and delighted, as always, to witness and document their family through these changes.

On this cold and gray morning we sipped black coffee by their big front window, read stories in Seamus's bedroom, turned lamps on and off (much to Mr. S's chagrin, who is a fan of ALL LIGHTS ON!); we swaddled, diapered, and nursed Fergus (okay, Megan did that), we marveled at his little elfin left ear, I scratched loyal Phoebe's tummy, Jack and Seamus prepared pizza dough, and Jack bribed Seamus into photo cooperation with offers of smoked pork belly and dates, while Tom Waits's Cookie Monster voice came through on the speakers.

The ground outside was frozen, the mood inside was warm, and 2013 was kicked off in the best of ways: with love and open arms.

xo, PQ

PS- I feel it should be noted that on occasion Seamus refers to kitties as posycats. {insert bursting heart emoticons here}