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    You are my only one, you are my only one, oh I’m telling you now…

    Sometimes inspiration comes in places that you aren’t expecting. At the end of last year I was thinking about the fact that all too often, my children’s lives aren’t documented in the way that I’d like. With the advent of Instagram I’m at least breaking out my iPhone, and that’s been a challenge that I’ve enjoyed. But looking through the lens of a camera was the way that I first saw life from an artistic perspective. I remember taking my fingers as a child, thumbs and index fingers extended, to create a rectangle so that I could literally capture it through a “lens.” Using my phone camera has always kind of felt like cheating.

    I love to see the work that other photographers are pursuing and a few weeks ago, I stumbled onto You Are My Wild. It’s a beautiful ongoing project photographing the love affair of several photographers with their children (including the very talented Portland-area photographer Shelby Brakken). I was immediately captivated. Over the next several hours I watched my children and had some incredibly tender moments observing them. Later that night, after I tucked them into bed, I got my camera out and put it in a spot in our living room where I knew I would see it throughout each day. I’m pleased to say that it’s been seeing a lot more use. I’m going to try to post once a week so that you can see a little more into our lives. But more importantly to me, our family’s legacy will become much more complete in a tangible way that I’ve missed so much from my earlier life.

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    Say hello to Baby Otis!

    One of the best things about being photographers is following families through their life and documenting their love and progression. And sometimes, we’re lucky enough to see things from the very beginning when the couples whose weddings we photographed come back to us when their babies are born.

    Amanda and Josh were married in 2009 at the Surfsands Resort in Cannon Beach, one of our favorite venues on the Oregon coast. She grew up in Seattle but spent summers in Cannon Beach with her family and brought Josh back to her favorite spot for their wedding. I know you’re not supposed to have favorites (well, at least not as parents) but we totally fell in love with them. When we found out that they were pregnant we were thrilled and started scheming ways to go to New York to take newborn pictures of their babe. Lucky for us, though, they came to Oregon as part of a Christmas trip to the Northwest. We met them and the rest of Amanda’s family at their beach house and were able to take some sweet pictures of their four-week old Otis, and some of Amanda’s little niece and nephew that I’ll show off in a later post.

    One more time that Will and I each saw a slightly different side of things: this was my take on Baby Otis’ feet…

    and this was Will’s view.

    This was definitely one of the coolest moments that I’ve had in a baby session: I photographed Otis’ first smile!
    Josh was making googly faces at him and all of a sudden, Otis burst into a tiny little grin. It was amazing.

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    A wedding album equals moments that last forever

    Have you ever held a wedding album in your hands? Have you paged through it with the man or woman whose faces light up the photographs from that day? It’s a really beautiful experience. I still remember paging through one of my friend’s wedding albums, long before I married Will. I’m a very tactile person and the paper was so smooth under my fingers as I flipped the pages. But what I remembered most was her sweet sigh as she came to one of her favorite pages and she said, “This brings it all right back.” Each time that I’m designing an album, creating the story of their day that will come back every time they open its pages, I think of that day. I know that what I’m creating will be an heirloom that will stay with that family long after the faces in it fade.

    Today, I opened Mallory and John’s album to see the finished process, before it heads off into their family. They chose a leather bound One album from Finao, which is one of my favorite albums that we sell. Their wedding itself, which was a destination wedding in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico in February, was absolutely stunning, held out on the beautiful coastline. And then a month later, they hosted a fabulous party for all of their friends and family at McMenamin’s Edgefield. I can’t wait to share it with them, and you.

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    The Mini Studio photobooth comes to Sit Still Boutique

    I love having The Mini Studio™, which is the RLPStudios’ version of a photobooth. I love bringing it to events and seeing the crazy side of people that magically comes out when they get in front of the lens. What is it about a photo booth that creates this? Is it that despite the lack of the curtain (in our case at least, it’s simply a camera on a tripod with a fun background) our minds still think that we’re hiding? Is it knowing that we’ll get a fun copy of ourselves looking the way that we hope that we do all the time– full of personality, whimsy, and happiness? Frankly, I don’t know. But wherever we go, when we set that up and start saying silly things the fun gets going. On Halloween, we partnered with Sit Still Salon for their little event. Kids dropped by the studio to have their hair and make-up done and then they popped into the photobooth to get goofy. Here are a few of my favorites:

    Of course, the staff had to get in on the fun. Kristin, who is the geisha in the center, has been cutting Sophie’s hair since she was just one and a half. She inherited my crazy thick hair and we will be Sit Still devotees for, well, all of childhood.

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    Baby Cohen’s fall portraits in Laurelhurst Park

    I’ve been having a brilliant time doing portraits this fall, which is really the first time that I’ve worked with portrait clients in two years. It’s been an interesting change but, much like the axiom about bike riding, it all came back so quickly. I have been lucky, too, to have some of my favorite clients from the past and also to add some adorable new faces. And baby Cohen was a delight. He’s in that adorable little stage where he’s not quite walking but isn’t so enamored with crawling either. So I did what has always come naturally and got down on the ground with him. We played, tossed the leaves that are becoming so abundant in Portland parks, tried some walking (Cohen would have preferred to chase the ducks but thankfully, his little feet aren’t quite steady enough!), and then said goodbye just in time for his nap. He even gave me a hug at the end of the session, which made my day!

    Look at his gorgeous blue eyes! Those are all natural, folks.

    I love watching their little minds work– he was having so much fun holding things up
    and then handing them to his mom. You could just hear him saying, “Look, Mom! I found this!”

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