Because all the cliches are true: now is now, a picture is worth a thousand words, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, if “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts we’d all be fat and happy… oh wait, that was just something my high school health teacher used to say. But to be frank, I don’t love cliches. What I do love is family portraits, and the invaluable hold they have on us for generations. But the more and more we are taking photos as a society (hello pocket computer) the less parents are actually getting in the frame; we snap thousands of photos of our adorable children, but we tend to avoid being the subject of photos. Women in particular are great at coming up with 1,001 reasons not to get in a photo. Sadly those mad avoidance skills allow us to ignore a more important truth: that in 20, 30, 40 years when our children have children of their own, they’ll want to look back on their own childhood, and photos are the way in which we humans do that. Simply put, family photographs are evidence that we existed. All of this beautiful chaos that can make our days feel so dang long, will be over in what will inevitably feel like an instant. We will be left with our memories, yes, but a tangible, visual representation of your life will last even longer. That will always be what drives me to create beautiful authentic images that tell the story of what your life looked like during this wild season of life we call parenthood.
I find that children are most comfortable (ie most likely to show me their true selves) at home, and I love the idea of our children having photos of themselves in the home they grew up in. That said, we live in a beautiful city with plenty of gorgeous scenery to offer as a backdrop. I’m happy to meet you at your home, and then head out into nature (weather permitting, of course), or just meet you at one of your favorite spots around Portland. Don’t have one? Don’t worry, I’ve been doing this for 11+ years, and I’ve got plenty of places I can suggest depending on what will best represent your beautiful family (river, meadow, coffee shop, library, whatever helps best tell your story).
Did I not hammer it in well enough yet? THE TIME IS NOW! Haha, that said, it really does depend on what you want from the light and mood in your photos. The winter months generally mean we’re shooting indoors, unless we’re bundling up and heading in to the snow on Mt. Hood (which I love to do!). Cozy home photos are a late fall, or winter day are some of my favorite. For the reasons I’ve already said, snuggling up at home with a warm cup of coffee (or a glass of wine), doing puzzles on the floor while a fire roars in the fireplace - those are the memories your kiddos are going to want to see preserved. But of course, we live in a stunning corner of the world here in the Pacific Northwest, and April-October present the most opportunity for outdoorsy goodness. Early morning and evenings work best from June-September, with those gorgeous summer sunrises and sunsets providing that popular-for-a-reason magical golden hour glow. While mid-day that time of year can be harsh (and hot). When we’re shooting in your home its all about what time of day your family rooms get the most dramatic light. Don’t know? Don’t worry, I’ll talk you through figuring it out. Here’s the number one rule for deciding when to do your family photos: when are your children at their most cheerful? I love summer evening light, but if it means keeping a small child up two hours past bedtime, well then I’m going to prioritize happiness over pretty light (but also, light is my job, I can make it work for me just about anywhere, any time).