For Heads and Hearts

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Several weeks ago I had the great honor of participating in a photo shoot with four women. Each woman received a high-quality wig through Lolly’s Locks, a non-profit created to help women feel beautiful, even while going through chemo. Connecting with these women throughout the course of a day was incredible and moving. It was an eye-opening experience for me to see the grace with which these women spoke about the varying levels of their treatments and current prognoses. Most interesting to me, though, is the theme of the video – that it’s so much more than a good hair day.

I photograph beauty portraits. I help women feel beautiful. And for me, this is nothing close to vanity but springs from a place within that deeply knows appearance shouldn’t matter so much and yet alters our moods completely. I’ve always been the sort of person that, after having a bad day, wakes up a little earlier the next day and dresses a little nicer, takes a little more care with my hair. It’s not necessarily about looking great, but about the intention of taking care of myself. That investing in myself for even a few extra minutes will change the next day’s outlook just enough to matter. It’s so much more than a good hair day, or a good face day, or a good outfit day. It’s about choosing to excel. I think that’s why Lolly’s Locks touched me. Please take a few minutes to support this wonderful organization by viewing their new story!

To Tanyis, Julie, and Caitlin, my best wishes for you all moving forward. For heads and hearts!

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Modern Women’s Portraiture

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Mothers and daughter portraits are some of my favorite subjects in the world of photographing women. I like photographing multiple together just as much as photographing women alone, but the relationship between mothers and daughters is one that I always enjoy. It’s probably a result of being one of three daughters in my own family and loving the female bond! Modern women’s portraiture is a joy, because it can go in so many directions. And photographing a family together and then each women individually just provides more variety as a service to you, the wonderful women that come into my studio and trust me to help you feel beautiful.

Patricia works in a similar business to me and shares my goal of helping women feel beautiful. In fact, she’s the Makeover Mentor and helps women with a makeup and skincare makeover with Mary Kay! So it was doubly fun to photograph her and her daughters and aid in that goal for them. Watching Carasandra, Patricia’s youngest, come alive in front of the camera was especially thrilling. She’s a self-proclaimed tomboy and suddenly loved playing in the girly world! How’s that for a little foray into the world of modern glamour portraits?

Fashion Model for a Day

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What are the odds you’ll be on a magazine cover one day? If you’re anything like me, the answer is slim to none. I’m good with that. I’m not a supermodel nor do I want to be. For starters, I really like cooking and eating and wouldn’t give it up for anything so small as a magazine cover! That said, every average woman should have a day every so often in which pampering is the beginning and end of the story. We can call it fashion model for a day. We can call it a magazine-inspired photo shoot, makeover included. We can call it whatever you want. The goal: for you to feel beautiful.

Heather came over for her modern beauty session with a suitcase, like many women do! She had a large collection of incredibly beautiful gowns and it was a joy to just rifle through them as she sat down for hair and makeup. One of them was her wedding dress, not worn since that day and I’m thrilled I was able to photograph her in it at the shoot.

Heather has a talent for many things and she’s my go-to girl for all questions knitting. And if she weren’t moving away soon, she’d have ended being my first call for sewing machine questions too! But one thing I’ve never heard her talk about is styling. That’s crazy because she’s so good at it! Poring over her collection of clothing opened my eyes to a whole new side of her and it was fun seeing what she loves wearing. A little bit bookworm, a little bit sexy… her modern glamour photos moved from one mood to the next as we made our way through her suitcase. If this is the only time she gets to play fashion model for a day with me, we rocked it out of the park at this session.

Displaying Your Professional Portraits

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You’ve chosen to invest in your self. You enjoyed the pampering, the luxury, the just setting side some time to be yourself and relishing in womanhood all over again. You’ve seen the images and… you love them. But maybe you’re not quite sure what to do with these gorgeous images? Your professional portraits are there, waiting for you. What will you do with them? How do you enjoy them?

My favorite option is a portfolio box. You can fill it with your favorite images and either put them in a special place of your home or rotate them onto an easel for display. You can change out your favorite portrait of the week. You can just keep them to yourself, too. The portfolio box gives you options, and you can always change your mind later! Each image within the portfolio box is a matted, fine art print hand crafted right here in my home studio.

fine art matted prints in portfolio box

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Eleni and the LBD

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“But what will I wear?”

Oh do I hear that often! I’ve even said it myself from time to time. The blunt answer is the easiest – whatever makes you feel great! But often times I think that only scratches the surface. Eleni came with a small collection of remarkable dresses, and I’m admittedly only focusing on one here because when all else fails, a little black dress will always work for any situation. It definitely works for Eleni’s modern women’s portraits.

I adore the quiet mix of expressions as she moved for me. A little sass here, an open vulnerability there. Eleni, I think you’re incredibly beautiful. And the range of emotion on your face is striking. And most importantly, thank you for letting me in and showing me your true self!

Eleni and the LBD – it somehow fits a knowing smirk in one portrait, calm confidence as she faces me in the next. It fits the slightly self-conscious chuckle in that other image and molds to her curves just as well as her hands in all of them. I’m not even sure which is my favorite because I like them all for very different reasons.

But if I had to choose? She shimmers in black and white. It’d be one of those.

When in doubt, always bring a black dress. You won’t be disappointed.

The Power of a Great Dress & The Self-Portrait

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It’s this past Monday, mid-afternoon. I’m wearing business-y clothes and even though I know I put deodorant on it doesn’t quite feel like enough. I’m standing on a stage in front of 150+ photographers starting to talk about… not photography. I’m nervous, mostly because I stumble over words on a good, normal kind of day. But as I started speaking, the wrinkles in my nerves smoothed. The words flowed if not perfectly, close enough.

I’ve been holding off on sharing these images for a month. I’d been meaning to photograph myself for a while, really ever since I started this site. And of course I put it off again, again, yet again. Until the leader of this conference said he needed a new headshot of me and suddenly there was a deadline. Taunting me. And so I did make the portraits and sent in the headshot, and still I haven’t made myself sit down and share them until just now. Because as much as I whole-heartedly believe ever woman needs an incredible portrait of herself, it’s a bit raw doing it for yourself. As much as I do love these images, I still know these images were taken with me at the highest number on the scale I’ve seen since losing the baby weight. I scour them for flaws instead of seeing what’s actually there. I tell women every day that today is the best day to be photographed and excuses of waiting to lose the last 5 just don’t work for me. This is the kind of experience that takes you as you are and shows you the beauty that’s already there. And yet…

In sharing this, I’m presenting the best side of me, harshly culled to the best I have to offer. It makes me feel incredibly vulnerable.

But today, I feel the need to share. At the end of the conference this week, we had a party. And it was a goooooooood party. 150+ letting loose after days of intense learning and much tea drinking. The speakers, myself most definitely included, letting go of any remaining nerves and just… dancing. I bought a dress last week for this party. I walked into the store and told a sales girl what I needed and before I even stopped talking she told me she had the dress for me. She was more right than she could have possibly known. So I put on the dress the night of the party. I put makeup on. I even put on heels, a rarity in my life. And I sat next to a girlfriend while she finished her makeup and knew.

It’s amazing, the power of a great dress. My friend told me I looked amazing. Women at the party threatened to steal the dress right off me. I definitely caught some appreciative glances that kicked my step up a notch. I might have spent too much time in the photo booth, just relishing. All that aside though, I just knew. I felt it. And I loved it. And so I’m not jittery about sharing these images anymore. I’m not feeling so vulnerable. I’m still riding that high that only comes from within, that emotional crest that’s always been there and just needs OUT. And who knows, maybe I’ll make some time to photograph myself in the green dress soon, too.

Signed, the girl who suddenly loves red lipstick and sequins.

This is me.

Men’s Headshots

Since launching this new brand, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about whether I’ll photograph the male half of the species. The short answer is yes! I am happy to photograph men by themselves for their headshots or with their partner for a stylized session. A recent client, Kevin, is a great example! He needed lifestyle headshots for a magazine profile. He’s in the financial industry and wanted a professional yet very approachable look as he also does quite a bit of volunteer work within the community. There were a lot of goals to hit with these images!

If you’re looking for relaxed, Portland men’s headshots, look no further. I specialize in women on this site of course, but have been photographing all sexes and all ages for well over ten years.

 

Bonnie: Natural Headshots

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I met Bonnie through my networking group at the end of July. Before I’d even finished introducing myself she was on board and handing me a referral slip, and then promptly telling me she hates all photos of her. It’s an interesting mix, that. She’s handing me a referral slip before even seeing evidence of my work and also telling me she’ll hate the results. How exactly does one process that? And how was I going to give her a natural headshot that not only served the purpose of her hypnotherapy business, but also fulfilled my own goal of giving her photos that she not only won’t hate but actually like?

Natural headshots are something I embrace – gone are the days of a cold, corporate headshot in which a photographer just plugs in a new subject, clicks, repeats, and delivers images without any personality. Bonnie’s a practitioner in a natural field, so for her I wanted to create an even more natural scene. We started in my home studio but I didn’t feel like I was pulling out of her exactly what I wanted to see – her. So I suggested we head out to her property out in Helvetia with a red barn and woods. The way she spoke about her home told me a lot about her. And the very first frame I took at her house confirmed my guesses. She’s most comfortable in her own environment. She pulls energy from her woods, and that’s exactly where the best photos from her shoot came. I love photographing in the studio, controlling the light just so and shaping it around you. But my primary goal is a full and well-rounded set of images.

Seeing Bonnie in the studio a week later trying to narrow the images down was all the reward I needed. She came in and fully expected to dislike every last image. She started filtering through the images, apologizing for her pickiness. I of course reminded her that’s her job, to be picky about herself. We all are! So she went from 30 to 12, 12 to 8 and then started really having trouble going from 8 to 3 for her three headshots. She did in the end, but it took time. And at one point, during that time, she laughed at herself. She really thought it would be easy to pick a few and forget about the rest. I exceeded her expectations. And for that, I’ll keep on.

Celebrating a New Life: Sara

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Sara is one of my very dear friends and these portraits are a gift to her in helping her celebrate a new take on life. You see, she’s spent the last several years in a ton of pain. She has adult hip dysplasia and after three major, in-bed-for-weeks surgeries she’s finally starting to feel like a bit more of a normal person again. She hasn’t been capable of her previous level of activity in quite some time and as you might expect, felt quite sluggish in her life of non-activity. And given her recent changes, there’s never been a better time for modern glamour photos in Portland while visiting us last month!

These days, she’s still in a bit of nerve pain. And she probably always will be. But she can take her dog on mile long walks around the hills of San Francisco and enjoy it. And she can go out dancing and enjoying the single life again, something she hasn’t done in quite some time. And for the first time in several years, it’s not bone pain. It’s a whole new world for her out there and I couldn’t be more excited to see what she does next.

Business Marketing Photos in Portland

Meet Mekala, owner of Tie That Binds. She’s been the wedding industry’s go-to invitation and paper goods designer for quite a few years and I first worked with her on a wedding several years ago! By coincidence, we both ended up in Portland, Oregon and have kept in touch. I’m thrilled she asked me to help her with the visual side of creating a business profile with a combination Portland headshot session and studio profile of her little brick loft.

Mekala’s business marketing photos in Portland showcase a few things I love. First of all, her studio is so lovely! She’s styled it perfectly and it’s a great fit for her growing business. Coincidently, her own branding fits in closely with the branding on this site and reminds me how great minds think alike. And she’s a great success story as well, so it’s fun to be a part of her profile. She’s so creative as well – I watched her create bunting out of paper scraps from an old invitation suite while I walked around photographing little parts of the studio.

Is your business behind on their visual profile? Do you think your customer base would benefit from seeing a snippet of your business life? Maybe they’d appreciate a peek into how much fun you and your employees have while working hard for them? Ask about my business profile and headshot package!