Ben and I got engaged! We've thought a lot about what getting married means for us. We're both sovereign individuals, and it's important to me and us that we maintain our separate independence. However, I also love Ben as part of my family and I want our partnership to be recognized as such. Ben recently read an article ("What You Lose When You Gain A Spouse") about how marriage can actually isolate us rather than absolve feelings of loneliness. According to the author of the article, Mandy Len Catron, married people see their friends less, visit other family members less, and go out less than they did when they weren't married. It's important to me that Ben and I use our shared love for our community to bring folks together and into our home and lives, rather than push them away. I love love and I felt connected with Ben instantly when I met him almost eight years ago. It was like he was already my best friend. How wonderful, to be given the chance to share that with others. To see more photos from our engagement session, click here.
I had a very sweet family session a couple weeks ago in the Pearl District and the International Rose Test Garden. I love seeing how much this boy loves his dad. Photographing kids is the best; their emotions are so open-hearted. Celeste, the mama of this family, did a great job putting outfits together for this session. I highly recommend you check this session out for outfit inspo alone! You can view both parts of this session on my blog: see part one here and part two here.
What does healing mean to you? Anna chose to have her healing session at Lone Fir Cemetery because she wanted to feel one with those who have passed on. She says, "I believe in getting comfortable with death, understanding that our souls move toward something beautiful and universal." We had our session on the summer solstice, and the cemetery could not have been more peaceful. I immediately understood why Anna felt this place would bring healing. So, where do you find the most healing? See more photos from Anna’s session by clicking here.
I’m offering 50% off healing sessions for the entire summer! Healing sessions are fine art photo sessions that include an energy healing and artistic collaboration surrounding letting go, releasing, and/or simply acknowledging trauma. Healing sessions can include something meaningful or comforting to you, such as flowers, water, crystals, glitter, or anything else that speaks to you. What you’ll receive are self-reflective, beautiful, and vulnerable fine art portraits. Prints will be available for purchase from your online gallery of images. When I began photographing myself, I was a child who was in a lot of pain. I learned to adore my image, to find something in myself that I loved. Making photos of myself has been essential in my continued healing. That’s why I want to do this work. We all have a need inside of ourselves to be recognized and validated. If you have questions about healing sessions, don’t hesitate to reach out! I’m here to answer all your questions and dream up creative ideas with you. You can contact me here.
Something I struggle with when photographing couples (or honestly anyone) is not letting gender norms rule the session. As a human being living in this heteronormative and homophobic society, I see a lot of photographs of straight or straight-appearing couples posed in ways that put each person into a box that honestly many people don’t fit into. I also take plenty of those photos. That’s why I love photographing Ben and I so much. It’s actually a wonderful lesson in posing. I pose Ben and I in ways that we naturally act together. The photos I take of us are my most accomplished couples photos because they are the most natural and realistic. I’m passionate about showing the real moments of relationships, and I’m excited to continue to grow as a photographer to be able to capture those moments for many couples, friends, and families. As a bisexual/queer woman, I’m so thankful to be in a relationship that defies gender norms in so many ways. I love this person and I respect the ways we care for each other. Want to book a session documenting your relationship? I’m so excited about partnership of all kinds! Contact me here to book or just to say hi. I love interacting with all of you!
I got to see one of my best friends this week for the first time in months. She just finished the first year of her MFA program at Pratt! I’m so proud and excited for her. For as long as I’ve known her, my friend Aliera has had long hair that she usually keeps in a braid. I thought I’d have some fun and put some lovely roses in her hair. I took several other photos of her, too. You can view them all by clicking here.
I’ve had the absolute pleasure of working with Jeana Edelman Jewelry for over a year. She makes fabulous necklaces that look so lovely in bright and airy light. I recently shot a whole self-portrait series wearing her necklaces, which you can view here. I’d love to make femme images for your marketing, too! They don’t have to be of me. They could be of you or anyone (or anything!) you’d like! This is where my work really shines and it’s what I’m most passionate about. Let’s discuss your ideas! Contact me by clicking here.
My mom always says that love is the antidote to judgement and fear. When you’re fearing and judging, you aren’t loving. There is a lot of fear and judgement in our world right now. I look for love everywhere I go. I met the person in this photo at Council Crest Park. He happens to be another photographer in Portland. We talked cameras for a little while and then I asked to take his photo. This is a detail from one of the portraits I took. I love love tattoos. What do you do to bring more love into your life?
I took this photo at Heidi Duckler Dance NW’s recent show, Rush Hour. The show was centered around dancers and performers interacting with their environment. This photo, though, is mainly about light. I can’t help but play with light and light leaks when I photograph. It’s so much fun! See more photos from this performance by clicking here.
I took this self-portrait because I am so tired of fat shaming. Last night I took a photography posing webinar. The whole time, the instructors kept on fat shaming in their posing advice and it made me feel really bad about this industry. In the photography world, I’m surrounded by fat shaming even more than I was before I became a photographer. It’s so evident in almost everything we watch how much people hate fat people, disabled people, people with non-normative bodies, and the list goes on. So I want to personally invite you to hush the voices that are fat shaming yourself and others, that judge, that spew hate. Embrace your goddamn divine body. Look at yourself in the mirror, shake your booty, run your hands over your curves (it is masturbation month, after all), and give yourself some love! Tell a friend they look hella fine. Tell a complete stranger that you like their style. Be kind and generous. Tell someone who’s fat shaming that you love them (because people who fat shame hate their bodies too), and then ask them to stop criticizing people’s bodies. Tell yourself you love yourself. You’re fabulous!
It’s such an honor to photograph people I love, such as this lovely woman right here, Catherine. Catherine has become one of my very good friends over the past couple of years. A few things I love about her:
- She shows up and she’s loyal. And she doesn’t mind hanging out just to drink tea or walk around.
- She calls groups of people “team.” She even called a bunch of traffic team when we were stuck in traffic a month or so ago - “Okay, team, let’s speed this up...”
- She plans and throws parties that really bring people together with great food and activities.
- She likes nice things, and she’s generous to herself and others.
- She’s an all around badass.
I love making art about the body. I truly believe that every body is worthy of art. Photographing others (or myself) with the intention to make an art piece is very healing. It’s such an honor for me to be able to show someone how beautiful their body is. Even people who like their bodies don’t always think of their bodies as worthy of art - but I do. It’s through my lens that I help people discover how powerful and beautiful their bodies are.
Spring is such a fitting time for maternity sessions because of all the new life blooming around us this time of year. Flowers are a beautiful symbol of growth. That’s why I chose to photograph this lovely mama-to-be with a bright red camellia. I can’t wait to meet her little nugget! If you’re expecting, send me a message by clicking here! I’d love to do a sweet spring session with you.
I love the contrast between lightness and darkness. I’m obsessed with the light that comes through my bedroom windows. I have three windows in my bedroom, all of which let in the most interesting and beautiful light throughout the day. Sometimes I’ll lay in bed and stare out the window for several minutes, admiring the light. Sometimes I’ll bask in the sunlight that seeps through the windows. It’s my favorite thing about my apartment and something I’ll dearly miss when I eventually move. This image was taken the other day at sunset where the light was peeking in through the window closest to the adjoining wall.
April Fool’s Day was the anniversary of my late stepfather’s death. My stepfather abused me from the time I was seven until I was eleven. He died of a heart attack a week after I told my mom about the abuse. He died just in time for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. He died thirteen years ago, when I was eleven years old. Incredibly, April Fool’s holds a new significance for me now. April Fool’s 2019 marked one year that I’d been a full time business owner. Being a business owner, as well as surviving my abuse, has taken immense strength. For me, April has always been about having strength. I’ve had to be strong in so many parts of my life. And with that, I can say this: I am so strong. My strength is in vulnerability and sheer will. Thank you, April, for all the lessons you’ve taught me.
I love spring for all its beautiful flowers, but especially magnolias. There are already so many of them blossoming around Portland! At the International Rose Test Garden, you can find all three of my favorite spring flower varieties: magnolias, cherry blossoms, and camellias. Read more about why spring sessions will rock your world by clicking here. Let’s go make some lovely, colorful photos together!
I love seeing the city on foot. I used to walk everywhere. I’d walk to work early in the morning, then school, then finally back home late at night. I’d walk to yoga, to the rose gardens, to the grocery store. Walk, walk, walk. I’d walk just to let go of my day. Walking was a form of therapy. Lately, I haven’t been walking much. But last week, Ben and I walked to the east side via the Burnside Bridge and back home via the Hawthorne Bridge, where we saw a double rainbow and got poured on. This week we walked to the east side via the Broadway Bridge, and we returned to the west side over the Steel Bridge while getting to see the prettiest moon shift from day to night. Both journeys were taken after having somewhat difficult mornings/afternoons, and both days ended so well after our walk. So here are my two views of the Steel Bridge from our walk this week. It’s such a gift to be able to see the city at this pace.
While on a walk across the Hawthorne Bridge last Tuesday, I turned around and saw the most beautiful rainbow. The rainbow came and went a couple of times, and at one point it became a double rainbow, which you can faintly see in this image. I’ve heard that quadruple rainbows are possible, though very rare. I’m a sucker for rainbows - they truly make things feel magical!
I love a good window reflection! In my opinion, window reflections are the OG of double exposures. It’s a fun way to get a lot of texture, and at times, color, into a photograph. It takes a few tries to make one that works, but the effort is worth it! This was taken after Self-Discovery Group’s most recent Monday Medi Moments, a live meditation that we host on Facebook and Instagram every Monday at 9:30AM PST. The light that comes through the big windows where we do the meditation is always so magical. If you’d like to check out the meditations, you can do so by clicking here!
On Saturday, I photographed Self-Discovery Group’s live manifestation and meditation event. Self-Discovery Group is the website and eCourse platform I run with my mom. My camera has a silent shutter mode, which made it possible for me to get photos of people meditating. The woman in this photo is seriously incredible! Her name is Sarah Lakey and she teaches meditation at YoYo Yogi in the Pearl. You should definitely go take a class from her if you’re in Portland and are interested in meditation!