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Children, Clackamas, OR, Family Photography, Happy Valley, OR, Portland, OR, Siblings

Strand Extended Family Session| Happy Valley, OR Photographer

I’ve known Lauren and Mike for years and years and years, and I’ve done a number of photoshoots with them. A few years ago, I took photos of Lauren’s family as a gift for her parents. This year, they decided to give the gift of an extended family session to Mike’s parents. I love doing extended family sessions because you get the chance to get evvvvverybody in the picture and show off your whole family! Also, I know grandparents love having professional photos with their grandkids — a gift for both the grandparents and the grandkids!

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It was a warm day when we did our session up at Scouter’s Mountain, but the trees are beautiful and they gave us plenty of shade! Tall trees are definitely one of my favorite things about living in the Pacific Northwest.

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Not only was it great to get the individual families (Mike and Lauren with their kids, and Marie and Trevor and their kids), it was fun to get a photo of Mike and Marie with their parents as well! I’m sure the four of them haven’t had a picture together in a long time.

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Oh! And then there’s photos of just the grandkids. These are some of my favorite –especially when the kids are young because all of their different personalities come right out at you! 🙂

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Of course, I have to include the big group photo of everyone — that’s why we did this in the first place!

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Lastly, one of the reasons I love this little hike/park is that you have the clearest view of Mt. Hood from the top. I captured this quick moment of the three oldest grandkids at the very end of the session looking at Mt. Hood.

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Thanks so much for choosing me, Strand Family! It was fun getting to see the whole gang back together. 🙂

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Children, Clackamas, OR, Family Photography, Lake Oswego, OR, Portland, OR, Siblings

Dolberg Family | Lake Oswego, OR Family Photographer

It’s been a little while since I’ve taken photos of the Dolberg family, so I was DELIGHTED when Janel sent me an e-mail asking for family photos this summer. The last time I took their photos, Lauren inadvertently told me that her mom had a baby in her belly! It was so funny, but I tried to play off like I didn’t hear it, ha ha!

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So, it made it extra special for me to take their photos this year because I got to meet Lauren’s little sister Katherine! It’s very clear that Lauren loves her little sister so much and Katherine is still trying to figure out what to do with all that love sometimes! 🙂 But, they got along so well and just wanted to run and play the whole time. Katherine’s at the age of wanting to stand and run — once you get those little feet going, it’s hard to make them stop! 🙂

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Janel and Andy had so much patience with helping both of their girls feel comfortable in front of the camera. Each of them was so supportive and smiled, giggled, and hugged each of their daughters.

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One thing I learned really quickly as a family photographer is that you have to be able to move quickly on your feet! Katherine was wanting to move and I wanted them to giggle a little, so we played peek-a-boo around this cool statue that had all these holes in it that were the perfect size for the girls to pop their head in! I had my camera at the ready and each time they poked through, I yelled, “peek-a-boo!” and got the cutest giggles and smiles from them. It was so fun!

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What a great family! I can’t wait to see them again soon and watch the girls continue to grow!

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Children, Clackamas, OR, Family Photography, Happy Valley, OR, Lake Oswego, OR, Milwaukie, OR, Newborn, Oregon City, OR, Portland, OR

Lifestyle Newborn Sessions | Clackamas, OR Photographer

I recently had someone ask me what my favorite kind of session is. This was a really tough question to answer! I love photography and I love taking pictures of families. But my favorite kind of session? Hmmmm. While it’s a really close call, I’d have to say it’s lifestyle newborn sessions!

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Lifestyle newborn sessions are a little different from studio newborn sessions. For a studio session, the parents and baby come to the photographer’s studio and they take many beautiful images of their baby — usually these include different wraps, props, and poses. For a lifestyle session, I get to meet you, your squishy new baby and the rest of your family in the comfort of your home. As both a photographer (and as a mom who chose this kind of session for her kids!) I really appreciate getting to be in your home. Depending on how everyone’s recovery is going, it’s so much more relaxing and comfortable. If you need to feed or change the baby, everything you need is right there. Plus, siblings and pets can be there too!

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I think the other part I love about newborn lifestyle sessions is that you get to be in your home with your baby, and your pictures will represent that. I look back at the photos we did after my youngest was born, and I truly treasure them. We aren’t in that house anymore, but I have those photos to show my kids what our life looked like when our youngest Little Man came into our lives. They can see his nursery, the blankets where they played with him, and all of us snuggled up staring at his little face in the living room.

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These are the moments I want to capture for my families. I want them to be able to look back and remember the way things were at this particular moment in their family’s history. So, when I show up at your door with my camera bag, a Boppy, and a blanket (and a footstool! I’m short), know that I’m going to love capturing this beautiful, fleeting moment of time for your family. I hope that your photos bring you as much joy when you look at them as I felt when I took them.

Clackamas, OR, Education, Family Photography, Happy Valley, OR, Milwaukie, OR, Oregon City, OR, Siblings

What to expect for your family session| Clackamas, OR photographer

There’s this idea among some photographers that family seasons can be a little like a blind date. You’re excited to meet this new person (your photographer). You’ve only texted and emailed a little up until now, and you’re wondering what the next hour or so will bring. You (and your spouse and kids) all have on your best outfits —you want to impress this person, after all! — and you get in the car, drive to a new place, hop out, and the. You see her (me!). Everyone introduces each other, tell some stories, have a few laughs, you say your goodbyes, and then you… wait (but not long!) for your photos. 🙂

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I did a post already about what to wear, so let’s focus today on the other parts of the photo shoot. But! Before we get to the shoot itself, let’s talk about what leads up to the day of the shoot. After you get in touch with me and let me know that you’re interested in a family session, I’ll reply with some inquiries of my own and a questionnaire for you to fill out. To make that first meeting in person a little smoother, I try to get to know you and your family ahead of time. Then, we will get all the other details squared away and I’ll get busy planning your shoot! Often, this means visiting the location, planning poses, and watching the weather. 😉

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The day of the shoot, I’ll be smiling and awaiting your arrival at the location. Then, the fun begins! We will for sure take those photos of everyone smiling and looking at the camera. One of the things that makes lifestyle photography fun is that I can get pictures of your family interacting with one another, whether that be laughing at my corny jokes or snuggling up with your kiddos. These photos are usually the ones people remember the most because of the emotions we get to capture.

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After we go our separate ways, I work on choosing the best pictures from your session and developing them into a gallery of images for you to treasure forever. When your gallery is ready, you’ll receive an email from me and instructions on how to order prints and download your images. Then, YOU get to enjoy looking at wonderful pictures of your family for years to come.

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It does kind of seem like a whirlwind romance, doesn’t it? But, unlike most blind dates, I promise to text you back. 😉

Children, Clackamas, OR, Family Photography, Lake Oswego, OR, Oregon City, OR

Joy Family Photo Session |Clackamas, OR Photographer

I’ve known the Joy family for a couple of years, and I even did an in-home lifestyle session for them a little over a year ago. Meaghn and I are both mothers to three kids and both our oldest boys are going to be in Kindergarten this fall! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone and I know she can’t either.

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We met up for photos at one of my favorite parks in Lake Oswego. It’s a pretty quiet little spot most days, but there were SO MANY geese there this time! The park has a beach on the river and the geese kept walking up to us and honking at us. The kids were completely enthralled and trying to both simultaneously be really close to the geese and really far away all at the same time! 🙂

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All three of these kids are the sweetest! Edie is a delight and her older brothers love her so much! They took care of her and held her hand when she needed it — I don’t have an older brother, but I always wanted one like these two! Michael is the protective older brother and Liam is pure energy and goofiness wrapped up in a package. These kids kept me smiling for the whole session.

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Meaghn and Ryan are so fun to watch as parents. Each of them was up for any pose or idea I had, and I can’t tell you how much I melted every time Meaghn looked at her kids. She gave each of them a big smile every time they got to sit on her lap or hold her hand for a shot. It’s so heartwarming to be able to capture these moments for them, and it’s truly a privilege for me to be part of their little world for an hour or so.

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What to wear to your family photo session | Happy Valley, OR photographer

Today, we’re looking at what to wear to your family photo session. [If you’re looking for what to wear to your newborn lifestyle session, you can follow a lot of these same ideas, but I’m going to have a separate post for you soon!] I know it’s hard to setup family photos — you have to check everyone schedules, think about naptimes and eating times, and then you’re left with the seemingly daunting task of figuring out what everyone is going to wear!

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Blues and pinks for everyone!

Never fear! It’s a lot simpler than it seems and I’m going to break it down by steps.

Step 1: Choose the outfit for the person who’s hardest to choose clothes for. When I say “outfit”, we’re really only looking at shirt/pants/skirt/dress right now. We will look at accessories all together in a little bit! If you have a kiddo who’s extra lanky or super tiny or a husband who only insists on wearing his favorite blue shirt, choose the outfit for that person first! Make sure they look (and feel!) good and then choose all of the other outfits based on that person. If you can, try and avoid neon colors and bold patterns (like rugby shirts or bold checkerboard patterns), and also avoid logos of any kind (Nike, Adidas, sports team names and logos, etc.) unless you’re incorporating your favorite team for a reason. 🙂

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I love how the daughter’s pants and her brother’s shirt are the same color — even mom’s necklace matches! 🙂

Step 2: Based off the first outfit, choose clothes for the other members of your family. It’s helpful to base most of your colors off of what “goes” together and not putting everyone in the same color.

What in the world does this mean? Here is an examples of color palettes I found on Pinterest (now you don’t have to go through the vortex of Pinterest… you’re welcome!):

The ultimate color guide for selecting clothes for your session                                                                                                                                                                                 More

Let’s go back to our outfits. If the outfit you chose for Person #1 was denim pants and a grey button-down shirt, you have LOTS of options of other colors you could use to go with that! Find the palettes with the blue and grey and see what other colors you can use for the other members of your family. Don’t feel like you have to use all of the colors in a palette! NO ONE in my family looks good in yellow. So, we might incorporate it into shoes or some fun socks as an accessory, but not as a part of someone’s clothing. This leads nicely to…

Step 3: Choose your accessories (wisely)! Don’t try to do too much! You want the focus of your pictures to be on the people, not on the clothing. Also, be mindful of your kiddos. If your little man doesn’t like wearing ties, don’t make him wear one. If your daughter has never worn a necklace before, maybe don’t make this the first time. If your children are going to be distracted by or uncomfortable because of something you’re making them wear, skip it. It’s so much more important that they’re feeling good and happy for their session. So, what kind of accessories should you choose? A scarf can be nice if it doesn’t block the person’s face, a cardigan as a “pop” of color can work very well, and fun shoes are super cute. Dress socks, ties, and suspenders are all fun too. Keep in mind that you don’t *have* to incorporate lots of accessories. Often, less is more.

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See how the mom’s necklace matches the color of her daughter’s dress? A nice “pop” of color! And, all three shades of blue tie everyone together.

Step 4: Shoes. Yep, shoes get a whole category. Think about the location where you’re taking your photos before choosing your footwear. If you’re going to be anyplace with dirt, skip the sandals. If it’s chilly outside, throw on some cute boots!

Step 5: Consider the weather. If you’re getting photos done in the fall here in Oregon, wear layers and think about jackets you could wear in your shoot. If it’s June, bust out those sundresses! Consider the weather with your kids, too. Know their preferences for weather-related clothing and try to work with it as best you can.

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Blue, pink, white, and grey here! Not too many accessories, but the ones that are here totally work. Everyone’s even wearing the same color shoes. 🙂

Okay! I know that was a LOT of information to throw your way. But, I know that when I get family pictures done, the question of What To Wear is something I really have to ponder. So, now you’re seen my process and I hope it’s helped you think about how to approach this hopefully-now-not-so-daunting task!

Children, Clackamas, OR, Family Photography, Oregon City, OR, Siblings

Langan Family Photos | Oregon City, Oregon Family Photographer

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a client blog! Between the end of the school year and moving and all of the fun/busyness that comes with summer (not to mention my busiest July as a photographer!), I let blogging fall aside. BUT! I couldn’t let too much time go by before I talked about this awesome family!

Ashley contacted me in the spring about doing a family shoot in May because there are so many flowers in bloom that time of year. I always love photos of families, but photos of families with pretty flowers and nice green grass? Yes, please!

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Ashley has two little girls, Emery and Ellie, and a son, Elijah. Emery and Ellie were too cute and had the best time giggling back and forth with each other.

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Elijah was a little more shy, but we were able to get some great photos with his dad, Patrick and a few of Elijah running all over by himself! One of the things I love most about taking pictures of little kids is that each one is different, and some of that depends on their ages. When I have a toddler who just wants to move, I work with it! Letting kids be themselves makes for the best photos.

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Some of my most favorite photos from the session are the pictures we got with the kids and their parents. I just love how each of their children will take away from this session not only family pictures, but also pictures of themselves with their parents.

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We had this session up in Oregon City and I was SO excited that the rhododendrons were in full bloom and that so many of the other flowers had beautiful blooms as well. Spring in Oregon is one of my favorite times of year!

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