Here’s the thing: I absolutely love working with natural light. But sometimes, the loveliness of studio light is unmatched. That’s why I just set up a home studio.
There are many kinds of self-portraits: pretty ones, honest ones, revealing ones, ones that are about the light, or the angle, or the emotion. I don’t think one is necessarily better than the other. What I will say is that I think so many people are afraid to even look at themselves. But you are art.
I won’t lie, Christmas is my favorite day of the year. On Christmas Eve, we have a big dinner with family and friends. We chat, laugh, listen to music, and play games. Then on Christmas, my stepdad makes Eggs Benedict for our little family - my mom, my dad, Ben, and I. Then we have coffee and tea and open gifts. The evening is usually pretty chill; this year we went to see On the Basis of Sex. It was an absolutely wonderful day! How do you feel about the holidays? What are your traditions?
I love playing around with layering and double exposure! The effects you can get are so fun. Here, I took a photo of an orchid (taken on my DSLR) and a self-portrait (taken on my phone) and layered them to get this image of me wearing a flower crown. I don’t believe in “photo purity” - that there’s a right way to take and edit photos. I love the creative, experimental process!
Last Tuesday I had a lot of fun doing mini Body Beautiful Sessions at We Myndful’s December event and holiday celebration. Whenever I do a Body Beautiful Session with someone, I ask them where in their body they feel the most vulnerable. Then, together, we come up with something they can tell themselves that would make that vulnerable place feel a little less scary.
Playing around with different lighting is so much fun! I’m over at my mom’s a lot, and she just got this new disco-type light that I love. I took this photo in a dark room and put the light right next to my face. The magic about it was that since the light was moving, I got a different image every time I clicked the shutter - that’s the only time that digital photography gives me that same fluttery feeling as film.
My show at the Roseland this past week was a major success! I am so thankful to everyone who came out and helped me make it happen. My carpet at home will be glittery forever from all the crafting I’ve done over the past couple of weeks to get ready for it.
I am thrilled to announce that I will be participating in the next Portland RAW show. One of the coolest things about this show is how diverse the artistry is… there is everything from visual art, to fashion, to music, to hairstyling. I would love for you to come see the show and support my work!
Last week one of my friends celebrated her 25th birthday! She is a libra through and through and I have a libra rising, so we decided to have a very libra photoshoot, with glitter and flowers and red lips galore. We used a full, giant bottle of soap to make bubbles (we had limited bubble bath), but obviously the bubbles didn’t stick around that long. It is so fun to celebrate a birthday with a photoshoot, especially one that is inspired by your sun sign (if you’re into that kind of thing). I’m so thankful to everyone I get to photograph!
Every year for the past three years, my boyfriend Ben and I have taken a selfie with pumpkins on our heads during our annual visit to the pumpkin patch on Sauvie Island. This year we went to the pumpkin patch earlier than usual, and there were less small pumpkins around. I decided to up my game and try balancing a larger pumpkin on my head. It was difficult, to say the least, and we ended up trying to balance the large pumpkin on both of our heads at the same time. It’s a silly tradition, but super fun. It makes me laugh every time! View past years’ photos here.
My friend Aubree and I have a new weekly ritual where we get together to have tea or coffee every Sunday. We hangout, talk, and drink our drinks, and it’s such a dang good time! I met Aubree at We Myndful Mornings, which I photograph every month. I am so thankful to have met Aubree because she is one of those people who when I first met her, I immediately felt like I got her and she got me. It’s so fun to have friendships like that. Looking forward to all of our future Sundays!
This past Saturday was my dad’s 59th birthday! We had a quick breakfast at Park Avenue Cafe, and after the Portland rain subsided, we headed across the street to the PSU Saturday Farmers Market. Though the sun dazzled us at the market, it poured rain on our walk back home, so we were soaked by the time we got back! But typical Portland, it got bright and sunny again as soon as we got home (of course).
I recently watched my cousin get married to this lovely lady at Elizabeth Chambers Cellar. It was so fun to celebrate with them, especially because it was one of the rare times I have been able to attend a wedding recently without being responsible for the photographs. However, I couldn’t resist making a few photographs anyway because I love what I do that much! Caitlin, I love you, Daniel, I love you! Can’t wait to spend all of the holidays together!
The lovely lady in this photo is Christy, one half of the sister duo behind the lifestyle brand called woven. Christy and Jenn are passionate about living life intentionally; they promote intentional living through their love of plants. The sisters are currently prototyping a gift box that includes a plant and the materials and instructions needed to create an adorable plant holder. I love working with these ladies and cannot wait to see what the future with woven brings! We took this photo at Thicket, a very charming garden shop in NE Portland.
One of my favorite things to do at parties is to set up a photo booth. As a professional photographer, it allows me to get some great photos without feeling like I'm working, and for people who are not professionals, it allows them to get fun photos without much effort. My friend Winona helped me set up this photo booth with a cheap table cover and wall hanging from Target. The Dollar Tree is also great for this type of thing. Here's me celebrating my birthday, having accidentally switched up the "4" and the "2" candle. Oh, well. I guess I'm 42 now! 😂
Even if you don't believe in the powers of the moon, you can't deny that the moon was intense this past week. We had a blood red moon and a lunar eclipse. I went to a friend's house and we had a little eclipse ceremony where we let go (or tried to) of things that were bothering us. That night and the previous night, the sky was so vivid and beautiful. Here is a shot I took of the moon right at sunset, overlain by a shot of a firework that looks like stars.
This past weekend, I got to photograph Emily and Mark's wedding party. They're my parents' neighbors and super cool people. Last year they got married during the solar eclipse, but this year they decided to celebrate with a big, backyard shindig, complete with cornhole, badminton, a hammock, and hanging lanterns. It was a gorgeous day, of course, and a fun and laid back celebration!
Yesterday I went to the Oregon Coast with my friend Grace, who is also a photographer (check out their magical work here). We found this lovely, uncrowded part of the beach next to giant rocks. We both took a lot of photographs of each other and stayed for the beautiful golden sunset. It felt so good to be near water and trees, especially considering how much I use a computer for my job. I'm so thankful to Grace for sharing my passion and for having heart-to-hearts with me!
I took this portrait of one of my lovely brides, Vanessa, on her wedding day. Her new husband, Kandin, and his five siblings are all musicians, so his sibs and friends performed jazz live at the wedding. Vanessa has a huge Mexican family who were so fun and ballers on the dance floor! The toast Vanessa’s father gave and the jazz song Vanessa sang to Kandin literally almost made me ugly cry (my camera saved me) and the evening light was to die for! Vanessa and Kandin's wedding was one of the most touching, emotional, and fun weddings I’ve ever been to. It was a joy to be a part of it.
Even though I take photos of other people for a living, I consider myself a self-portrait photographer first and foremost. I learned how to photograph by photographing myself, and that's how I continue to learn and make art. I take a LOT of self-portraits, mostly on my DSLR, but sometimes using a DSLR isn't practical, so I take the portrait on my phone. One of my close friends has this giant conch shell on her porch and I made it into a crown for this photo. Usually I keep my editing pretty minimal, but I love playing around sometimes, especially on images I take on my phone. So here is me playing around. :) Go find yourself a conch crown!