travel

Summer's Rad: Camping | Portland Real Life Family Photographer

Every year we head to Central Oregon to camp along the absolutely beautiful Metolius River. There's a specific campground we love, named Pine Rest, with spacious sites along the water, the quiet rustling of grasses, and crunching of pine needles as our feet delight in the mundane.

A short trip up the road to the fish hatchery leads us over the river on a old wooden bridge where the river creates crashing white whirlpools around rocks. At the holding pond, the kids spotted two bald eagles just waiting for the crowds of interlopers to fade away so they could catch a tasty meal. We usually see some hawks or other smaller birds of prey perched on the stands erected in the middle of the pond, but the eagles were quite a treat to witness.

Handfuls of fish food pellets are purchased for each kiddo. The smell takes me back to being younger and delighting in the flashing bodies of rainbow trout as they leap out of the water and slip back in with their morsels.

There were also hoards of butterflies that had just emerged from their cocoons. They flitted dangerously close to the sprinklers to keep cool and would rise in a cacophony whenever someone or something would approach. Nature is magical.

Back at the campsite, we played bocce ball, card games, whittled found sticks, climbed into the ice cold water, spent time in the hammock and ate food only consumed while camping

Being outdoors in the sun, no technology or work, little cares, and enjoying each moment is what summer is for.

If you want someone to come hang out with you and make real life pictures of your outdoor adventures, then you know who to call/text/email/etc. Simplicity is where it's at. Enjoy it!

I did a thing! Hello, CreativeLive | Portland Documentary Photography

CreativeLive: the epitome of all things solid and awesome about photography education, with unbelievable talent taking their time to share all their secrets with other creatives, like me. 

I've been following various photographers over the years, learning techniques, new skills, business inspiration and more through CreativeLive; live programming with a studio audience and on point goodness.

This year, things were off the charts different though. Instead of sitting in my home office, watching my computer screen, I was invited to sit in the LIVE audience while Kirsten Lewis and Marie Masse shared their most inspiring stories and thoughts on making it in the family documentary photography world.

I didn't even know Kirsten was going to be on CL. I saw a few fellow photographers post about it in some groups, so I casually looked into the class and realized I had only 2 days to apply to be in the audience. Thinking there was NO way I would get in due to the late date and all the people applying, I bought the class. A couple hours later, I decided to apply anyway, because why the heck not?

I kept checking my email like a fool and finally saw the invite. I might have screeched...

I frantically got flights booked (yes, I flew, because I hate driving unless I need to), found childcare, and then magically got hooked up with 3 other ladies who I "know" to share an Air B&B.

2 nights and 3 days in Seattle, YES!

Oh, ya. I also submitted my website for critique! I shared a lot of emotions with 2 other fellow photographers who had also thought,  "Hey, what a great idea to have our work critiqued and viewed all over the world!" And to add the cherry on top, we got miked, sat next to Kirsten as she went though our work. No, we had prior knowledge this would happen, just in case you were wondering.

I sat on a high stool, with my mind racing, wondering what the hell Kirsten was going to say about my site, my work, and as a general reflection, myself. She made me laugh, sigh, and even cry when she insisted that I repeat the words, "I am good!" I took away more passion and commitment to doing what I love because someone else made me realize it for myself. So, thank you, Kirsten!

If you made it this far, here are some of my favorite moments from the end of taping. 

This one deserves comment. Here, Kirsten holds the bladder of a wine box, which is known in certain circles to work well as a pillow while camping, or ya know, where ever you may be drinking and tired.

 

Thank you for staying with me until the very end! I have so much appreciation for being in a group of other women photographers and sharing our journey. Please check out Erin Berry, Lancaster County, PA Photographer for what I'm sure will be some phenomenal moments!

The Heart of Family Storytelling | Travel + Experience + Gelato

This spring, the family and I took our inaugural trip to Italy. Rome, Florence, Venice and some towns in between. High speed trains, rental cars, taxis, and walking (lots and LOTS of walking). 

I've been wanting to share some experiences from our Italy trip, beyond a solitary image, because there is a huge story to be told. 

Preparing for a trip abroad, anxiously waiting to board the plane, getting blankets, books, and devices ready for the LONG ride ahead is worth it because when the wheels touch down, the anticipation is palpable! Finally, here we are with all the wonder and excitement a new destination brings.

What emotions do you feel when traveling? Excitement, worry, butterflies...?

While we were in Florence, we all took a gelato and pizza cooking class. Tuscan hills, beautiful view, lovely instructors, and excellent food made for an amazing experience. 

I will share our pizza adventure next week, but for today, it's all about gelato. Cold, sweet, and so smooth (even without dairy for my son and I). We learned the science behind it and even got to watch our instructor use liquid nitrogen to quickly cool and prepare his own batch. You can imagine the surprise when that canister arrived!

Now, feast your eyes...