The Courter Family North Portland Family and Maternity Session

This family is a special one to me.  Ashley and Aaron are basically my life photographers (they photographed our wedding and family after the births of our girls) and I feel incredibly lucky to call them friends.  For as many good things as I can say about them as photographers, they are inspiring to me on an even deeper level simply as the people they are and the family legacy they create daily.  

I photographed their family portraits right before they welcomed their little beam-of-light daughter Maple into their family.  Their love as a family is tangible.  This inspires me to create and treasure the memories in my family as authentically and with as much joy as the Courters do.  Ashley and Aaron, let's do this again soon but with Maple in the mix!  Love love love you guys.   

Amy and John's Vashon Island Engagement Session on Film

It's certainly not everyday I get to take a ferry boat ride or visit a lighthouse.  For Amy and John's engagement session I got to do both in a matter of one day and it was a dream come true!  We took the Fauntleroy ferry to Vashon Island and I fell in love! 

I love having the chance to photograph a couple's engagement session before their wedding, like I did for Amy and John.  It is a chance for us to laugh and get to know each other before the wedding day.  I see photographing an engagement session before the wedding as a kind of ice breaker.  My couple gets to see how much fun it can be being photographed (truly, it's an experience of connection between you and your honey!), and bonus, you'll get gorgeous photos and the anticipation for your wedding will only build.  I'm a fan!

Abigail and John's Portland Maternity Portraits on Film

We took Abigail and John's maternity portraits in the Hoyt Arboretum just before sunset.  Abigail and John love film photography and wanted to capture a romantic mood for this special time in their life (just before welcoming their baby girl Hazel!).  I love how there are celebratory pops of "it's a girl!" pink in nature - like the poufs of peach blossoms on the mimosa tree.  And let's be real, it doesn't get any more beautiful than these two! 

Jessica's Vancouver Washington Headshots on Film

Jessica is one of those people who seems to have an aura of joy and wisdom.  When she enjoys something, she savors it wholeheartedly and is completely present in the moment.  Jessica is a Portland based fine artist and photographer who creates art for "radiant, big-hearted women who love nature and need reminders of calm and beauty".  Yes!  Sign me up.  We photographed her headshots at Frenchman's Bar in Vancouver, Washington.  It's a beautiful spot on the Columbia River that has sand, meadows, trees, and quiet paths.    

Jess, I'm honored to know you and inspired by your determination and the way you uplift others!

The Denfeld Family Portland Newborn Session on Film

Do you recognize this beautiful family? Chances are good you already follow this gorgeous Portland mama on Instagram (and if not, you will now!).  This newborn family session was featured on 100 Layer Cakelet but I realized that I hadn't shared it yet on the blog.  Elodie is now an adorable three-and-a-half year old and she's a big sister to her brother James.  

Two of the biggest reasons I love documenting growing families: connection and gratitude.  Every time I photograph a family, it is an experience of authentic connection.  I get to capture moments of people bonding with the ones they love most.  As a family, you can never have too many of these moments.  I'm all for every board game played (Monopoly Deal anyone?), every trip to the pumpkin patch, and every dinner shared around the table (even if it gets a little bit crazy, which it does!).  Each one of these is a true connection.  This is the heart of our relationships. When I photograph families, I capture this heart - true moments of connection.  

The gratitude component comes in bit later, once you have your photos in hand and are looking through them.  It's that feeling you get when you look at photos of your child's teeny hand wrapping around your finger that just catches your breath in the back of your throat.  You guys, I'm choking up writing this!  Photographs are a vehicle for that gratitude.  How insanely lucky are we to have the families we do?  To live the lives we have?  It's a gift I can't even wrap my head around.  Looking at photographs of my family transports me to a place of insane and abundant gratitude.  Gratitude is centering, gratitude grounds me.  That is why I love to do what I do and photograph families; to give that centered feeling rooted in gratitude to my clients. 

Connection and gratitude; two reasons why I will always love being a photographer and preserving memories. 

Liz, I hope this is a walk down memory lane for you that makes you smile!  And P.S. everyone, check out Liz's blog.  She is an incredibly talented photographer and writer who shares thoughts on motherhood, travel, and more.  It's good stuff, you guys.