I’m gearing up to photograph Lindsay and Shawn’s downtown portland January wedding in just a week or so and I could not be more excited. This couple have such a warm and fun dynamic together on camera and I’m sure it’s going to be a fantastic day. Over the summer we did a little hike to Government Cove, a secluded space in the Columbia River Gorge. The dramatic sunset environment was the perfect space for their engagement photos.
Canon 5d Mark III | 50mm F/1.8 Lens | Kodak Portra 400 Preset + My Tweaks
Congratulations to Lindsay and Shawn! You guys are the best clients a girl could ask for!
Styled shoots can be a lot of work and sometimes there just isn’t enough left over in my budget for the year to plan anything elaborate after workshops and equipment upgrades. That being said, I used to become bitter and jealous and say things like “I don’t know how all these photographers do styled shoots all the time.” The truth is there is always a way to create with the tools you have in the moment. So a friend and myself put together a last minute bridal portrait session near the Columbia River Gorge simply because we were inspired by the golden light of the day. I happened to have a rather outdated white maxi dress in my closet and I knew my mom had amazing florals growing in her front yard. Styled all a certain way, while not the most amazing styled shoot that ever happened, we were able to highlight our gorgeous model Malaika’s sweet spirit and create some lovely work for our portfolios. Sometimes that’s all you need!
I’m seeing a lot of “2016 Wrap Ups” in the creative community right now – everyone choosing their favorite images or projects from the year…projecting next year’s goals and recalling favorite moments from 365 days too quickly gone by. I see a lot of joy and excitement and I think it is lovely. I found myself writing similar things last year.
However, I don’t really want to do that now…because 2016 was painful for me and I would feel I was fabricating a little too much.
I am very uncomfortable writing that, because I actually worry a lot of that giving away even that little part of myself may not be safe for public spaces. But I do think, if even one person reads this who is also struggling…maybe they will feel less alone. I don’t pretend to have the sort of magical unicorn influence to energize you for next year, but I can at least say, that I know none of us are actually alone (even when it feels that way).
Winter is a covering. It allows a time for rest and reflection…the soil heals and moves beneath the layers of frost and snow in preparation for whatever Spring may bring. It can be a bitterly cold time that makes your bones feel hollow and long for warmth again. But it’s a season, like all the others, and therefore necessary.
Spring is on the way, bringing all the colors and fragrances back to us…so, how can we not have just a wee bit of hope? Accomplishments? Game-Plans? Diets? Hustle? Goals? I am too tired friends.
Yet I will always hold onto hope in anticipation of the life that spring brings.
A Happy New Year to you friends, creatives, clients — no matter where you are at. Take comfort, take joy.
It sifts from leaden sieves,
It powders all the wood,
It fills with alabaster wool
The wrinkles of the road.
It makes an even face
Of mountain and of plain, —
Unbroken forehead from the east
Unto the east again.
On stump and stack and stem, —
The summer’s empty room,
Acres of seams where harvests were,
Recordless, but for them.
It ruffles wrists of posts,
As ankles of a queen, —
Then stills its artisans like ghosts,
Denying they have been.
Sometimes a simple shoot can wind up your favorite. I love when the weather clears un-expectedly and I’m able to put together something fun last minute. When the sun comes out in November here in Oregon, all the photographers emerge, groggy eyed like vampires …cameras in tow. This last minute portrait shoot with Malaika was no different.
Mamiya 645 AF | 80mm F/2.8 Lens | Kodak Portra 800 Film | Scans by PhotoVision
More than any other kind of photographic moment, be it landscape, florals, or journalistic moments — I love portraiture. I love nothing more than expressing somebody’s soul on camera…if I’m lucky enough to pull it off.
I don’t know if I did…and I don’t know that my thoughts about the people below are even accurate having known them so briefly – but this is how they struck me and what informed how I took their photo.
Brooke (the first photo above) was one of my roommates, somebody who I enjoyed talking with and is a very interesting person. She has been through a lot in the past couple years and has a lot of wisdom born from the difficulties life can bring. Despite all that, she is a funny and engaging person with a light spirit who I really enjoyed getting to know. She is humble and doesn’t take herself too seriously, even though she really could because she’s totally beautiful and incredibly gifted.
Mamiya 645 AF | 80mm F/2.8 Lens | Kodak Portra 800 | Scans by PhotoVision
While I watched Jonathan Canlas work with this family, I had decided not to shoot at all so that I could absorb whatever I could learn from how he works. However, this little girl had a quiet way about her that I thought was so sweet. In a brief moment while her parents were being photographed together, she was standing by herself kicking rocks around and I was able to quickly pull out my camera and take one image. While I know nothing about this little girl, my gut tells me this image represents her shy personality pretty accurately.
Maja was our model who worked really hard, never complained and talked to everyone with a spritely, joyful enthusiasm that I’ve only encountered a few times in my life. She is full of sweetness and legitimately loves everyone…judged nobody and treated everyone with respect. In a western world that has grown so entitled, Maja seemed completely contented and grateful to be right where she was, and nothing but a desire to absorb it fully. I was able to shoot this brief portrait of her during some downtime between shoots. It’s my favorite image from the whole workshop.
All images taken at the Forage + Fern Workshop in Galiano Island, British Columbia.