Grace, Jacqui, Georgia, Yin, and Karen | Portland Portrait Photography

Five best friends + a beautiful afternoon in Lake Oswego = happiness.

Because sometimes you want more than just senior pictures of yourself – you want to remember your besties and the fun you had together too ūüôā

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Craig and Tayler | Portland Couples Photography

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One of the most exciting parts about life is getting to watch your friends grow and change. Craig has been a good friend of mine since my freshman year of college and I have seen the man transform again and again before my eyes. His life, like so many others, is in a constant state of flux.

Some changes are more powerful than others though. And beautiful.

That’s Tayler. This stunning woman walked into Craig’s life and suddenly everything was different.

At first I was like, wait what? Crazy, all-over-the-place, loud, ridiculous, over-the-top Craig, is dating a beautiful, young, quiet, stylish woman, who just recently moved to New York City for a fashion internship? How does this even work? What?

And then I got to spend a few hours with them. And see how she grounds him. And how he makes her laugh. And how they make a great team. And how together they somehow just get MORE awesome. And it just made my heart so damn happy.

SO here’s a few photos of these two amazing people. Goofing around in St. John’s where Tayler is from. Early morning light. Happiness.

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Jeffrey and Amanda | Newport Wedding Photography

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This might be the most unconventional wedding I have ever photographed, and I loved every minute of it.

Why? Because Amanda and Jeffrey did everything their own way. They threw tradition out the window and had the wedding that THEY wanted. Because really, when you get down to the core of it, a wedding is just a party celebrating your love with your family and friends. So why not do what you want?

To these two, what they wanted was simple and beautiful. Although they are both from the state of Georgia, Amanda was stationed in Newport, Oregon for several years while serving in the Coast Guard, so the city has special meaning to her. Together with their immediate family and a few close friends, the couple decided to rent an awesome beach house at the Yaquina Head, and have a small “guerrilla” ceremony down on the beach under the lighthouse. 14 people, no permits, 5 minutes of vows, an exchange of rings and a promise to spend forever together, til death or zombies do they part.

The rest of the day was spent basking in some unexpected Oregon Coast sunshine, playing with children, laughing with their siblings, drinking delicious beer and eating incredible food (catered by A Posto). It was all so… real. An honest take on the way families interact, watching the way fathers play with their sons and grandmothers hug their grandchildren.

As the day came to the end, we all took a little tour of the Coast Guard Station where Amanda used to live and work. It was such a unique experience to see the boats and facilities, and especially to witness the smile creeping across Amanda’s face as she reminisced in the time she spent there.

Congratulations you two. It was an honor to get to spend this day with you!

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Michele and Cory | Chehalis, Washington Wedding Photography

Michele and Cory are the quintessential bride and groom. A pastor and a nurse. Young, innocent, sweet, beautiful and fun. Their wedding was a dreamy, rustic affair in a big red barn surrounded by grassy fields and wildflowers. Everything was full of life, bursting with color and radiant in the June sunshine. I could not have asked for a nicer couple, a better day, or a more stunning location. This is the third wedding I’ve done at Red Barn Studios in Chehalis, Washington and I can say without a doubt it is one of my favorite wedding venues I’ve been to.

Thank you so much Michele and Cory, for inviting me to share and document your special day. You, your friends and your families are absolutely incredible, and it was a pleasure to photograph all of you! Congratulations!

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Vendors:

Venue: Red Barn Studios

Cupcakes: Taylor Frazier from The Cupcake Brigade (a non profit!)

Caterer: Branks BBQ

Florist: Janet Foss

Photo Booth: Viral Booth

Espresso Caterer: Black Tie Espresso

Courtney | Portland Maternity Photography

Courtey is expecting a beautiful baby girl! We were originally planning on taking these photos out in a pretty sunlit field, but the weather didn’t cooperate so we ended up shooting inside my home instead and I really loved the result! Congrats Courtney!

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Laura and her mom | Inspira(shown)

I’m warning you right now, this post is going to be a little longer than usual. But if you read the story you won’t be disappointed.

As you may or may not know, I am involved with a project called Inspira(shown), where people can nominate a deserving person in their life for a free photoshoot. I hadn’t received a nomination in a long time, so I was ecstatic to find a beautifully written letter about Laura in my inbox last month. Of course I teared up almost immediately while reading it, but that only goes to show how powerful it was.

I could paraphrase Laura’s story, but her best friend’s nomination was so well written that I’d rather just share it directly. So here it is:

“I have known Laura since we began 7th grade together. We are now both sophomores in college and still very close friends. A year ago, Laura’s father was diagnosed with stage three pancreatic cancer. The news¬†devastated¬†her family of five (her mother, father, and younger brother and sister), though Laura did her best to keep her head up and support her family. To this day, Laura remains one of the strongest, most driven and caring individuals I know. She has managed tremendously to “keep it together”, so to speak, even under these horrendous circumstances. After a number of surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, her father was told he was completely cancer-free and in remission. Though he was now a insulin-dependent diabetic after having a large portion of his pancreas removed. He remained this way for 4 months, and, while the family celebrated, they¬†received¬†some additional bad news. Earlier this year, Laura’s grandfather was admitted to the ICU and passed away shortly after. Even through the enormous amount of¬†tragedy¬†and hardship, Laura and her siblings remained strong. They grew closer than ever before and together they began to face the chaos. Last month, Laura’s family¬†received¬†some of the most shocking and heart-breaking news they had…Laura’s father went in for a routine, post-op MRI and was told that his cancer was back, and this time with even more aggression. His previously-diagnosed stage three¬†pancreatic¬†cancer had now spread to his liver and was now considered stage four. They were told he has less than one year to live and will be treated only to decrease his suffering, rather than fighting the disease any further.

Laura, the amazing soldier that she is, has managed to keep her spirits high and hope even higher. She works with her family to make sure everyone is alright at all times, and has been putting forth tremendous effort to watch out for her siblings well-being throughout all of this. This news, along with the numerous, terrible things that have happened to her family this year, has been some of the hardest information they have/will ever receive. I cannot even begin to imagine what any of them are feeling, and I have been spending a lot of time with Laura lately. I have done my best to lend support and love to her, but ultimately her stability and strength has all come from within. She is truly one of the most incredibly big-hearted, smartest, and toughest individuals I have ever met. She has been dealt a terrible hand this year and has been doing an enormously self-less job keeping her family afloat. She shows, through her actions and words, her unconditional, tender love for her family members, especially her incredibly strong and brave mother, Hilary.

An inspiration to me, as well as many others, Laura has grown into a beautiful, strong-willed, and brave young woman. She has kept her head and hopes up in the midst of all of this tragic chaos. She inspires me to be a stronger and better person, as she has shown so much strength and brilliance herself. She is truly one of the most kind-hearted, and spirited individuals, despite the fact that she is essentially preparing to take on the biggest loss and heartbreak of her life.

I think a photoshoot with her would help them to remember that they are very special and strong people. Along with giving them a reason to smile, even if it is so very temporary.”

I think a girl who has gone through all that definitely deserves a lighthearted photoshoot to lift her spirits, don’t you? Her siblings and father weren’t able to join, but her mother tagged along and I got to take a few photos of them together, as well as a bunch of portraits of the beautiful Laura by herself. All of these were taken at the Hoyt Arboretum on a perfect, sunny evening.

Thank you Laura, for allowing me to share this, and for being such a wonderful person. You are certainly an inspiration to many.

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If this story inspires you and you happen to know someone who also deserves a free photoshoot, and who wouldn’t mind sharing their story, please don’t hesitate to nominate them for this project! I absolutely love to do sessions like these.