This beautiful family welcomed a new baby girl this year! I always enjoy capturing family photos for them each year and this session was extra special. Evie is already 6 months old and enjoying life with her adorable big brother and their loving parents. We spent the evening capturing photos around their house and down the street at a neighborhood park.
As the summer wraps up and my own due date approaches, I was overjoyed to sneak in one of the last photo sessions of the year. I have had the pleasure of photographing this family since their first born was 6 months old and was so excited when my dear friend, Amy, revealed that she is pregnant with baby #2!
Little Lucy has spent the last month or two, immersed in all things Oz. It started with an adapted children's book based on the original story by L. Frank Baum. She couldn't get enough. We read more adaptations and eventually read the entire first book! We watched movies, we listened to the original soundtrack, we reenacted the story many times over. The Portland Children's Museum even has a current exhibit that is all about Oz. She walked the yellow brick road, hopped on the Wicked Witch's bicycle and climbed through her castle. She even met Glinda and her friends tonight on Halloween Eve! Naturally, Lucy chose Dorothy for her costume this year and mom and dad eagerly joined in as the Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion. I love how this magical story took hold of our Lucy's imagination. I wish each of you a magical Halloween and hope that your imagination takes you to new and wondrous places!
I think I fall a little in love with the kids that I photograph, and these three are no exception. This family knows how to have fun and we spent a beautiful fall day at Champoeg State Park playing and laughing. I taught first grade with Cindy my very first year when her oldest daughter was just a baby! Now they have three beautiful children and it was such a pleasure to meet the whole crew!
Introducing Lucy to backpacking was in the top ten of our summer bucket list this year. Finding a short, easy hike, not too far from Portland proved difficult, but we lucked out when we found the Vista Ridge trail. The north side of Hood is something quite spectacular. If sweeping vistas, gorgeous wildflowers and stunning mountain views are your thing, then you can't pass up this one. I kept waiting for Julie Andrews to come running through one of the many flower filled meadows singing, "The Hills are Alive". However, what really made my heart soar was watching Lucy fall in love with the wonder and beauty around us. Listening to her comment on the beautiful flowers, trees and views before us and her constant, excited chatter about everything we were experiencing filled me up to overflowing.
We left the Vista Ridge Trailhead at 6 p.m. Not at all the start we were hoping for, but Friday night traffic through Portland isn't exactly a speedy endeavor. Our original plan was to hike 4.5 or so miles into Elk Cove where there are several campsites along the edges of the meadow. Luckily, there was an awesome site at WyEast Basin that was vacant and cut our milage down to 2.5 the first night. Hiking with a toddler is slow going, but we were prepared for this. Our goal was to make the trip as fun as possible (so she'll want to do it again - right?) The Hubby carried the bulk of our gear, but I was able to strap on my sleeping bag, both sleeping mats and stuff the pack portion of the child carrier with some snacks and a few other things. Our packs were pushing close to 50 lbs, which is super heavy for us. Luckily, every time Lucy got out to hike on her own, Mama got a break. She did a great job hiking for the first mile. This trail quickly ascends into a very burnt section due to the Dollar Lake forest fire in 2012. There is great beauty in the way the forest rebuilds itself after fire and I found this section of the trail quite lovely.
As we were hiking along, I tried explaining to Lucy what had happened to the forest. I mistakenly, likened what we were seeing to the story of Bambi. Whoops! Suddenly, everything we were seeing was super scary and she wouldn't walk on her own any more. Once I noticed the scary faces in the trees, I kind of understood her point of view.
One of the advantages to hiking in the evening is watching the sun set behind the trees. We made it to WyEast basin before dark, set up camp and even enjoyed a well earned spaghetti dinner. On our hike in that first night, we met a fellow hiker who suggested we make camp at WyEast Basin. He said that WyEast is his "happy place" and we quickly discovered why. Upon waking in the morning, Lucy was up and running. She and Reggie (our black lab) spent most of the morning running across the meadow known as WyEast. Lucy jumped across each small stream, ran through a lot of mud and made sure to welcome any and all hikers passing through. Lucy kept herself fully occupied while Mom and Dad completed camp chores: collecting wood, filtering water, making cocoa and oatmeal for breakfast. I can officially say that WyEast is our happy place as well.
If you follow my blog, then you know that my passion for photography came to me later in life (around the time my Little Lucy was born). This trip was the first real melding of my passion for backpacking with photography and I am over the moon excited about how well they go together. Hefting around my camera, two lenses and the tripod makes for heavy packs, but I say it is well worth it! Our "coffee & cocoa hike" consisted of checking out the surrounding trails and ooooing and ahhhing over more wildflowers and views of Hood.
We made the decision to leave our camp set up at WyEast and head to Elk Cove for a day hike. We knew this would make the hike out easier and we were quickly falling in love with our camp. Lucy donned her very own camelbak (a bday present from Dad), we packed our lunches and set out. Lucy hiked around a half mile and then Dad carried her in the pack the rest of the way. She easily got into the hiking spirit and spent the entire morning singing "The Farmer in the Dell." The hike to Elk Cove was filled with more wildflowers, to the point of ridiculousness. Check out the pictures and you will see... oh, yeah - here is another flower filled meadow of gorgeousness and right above it is another view of Hood - I mean, really!?! Could it get any more beautiful?
We stopped at Cove Creek for lunch and more picture taking. We enjoyed dipping our toes in the freezing water and as I watched Lucy use my tripod as her camera, I realized it might be time to get her one of her own. I really can't think of anywhere else I would rather have lunch than this place!
I've even trained the dog to pose for me - hee, hee!
The hike back to camp was a quiet one. I think we were all a little tired.
Back at camp, Mama took a nap amidst running, squealing and jumping around the tent. Don't ask me how that worked out, but it did. We had an early dinner of noodle soup, introduced Lucy to the game of "Go Fish" and she beat the pants off of both of us - four games in a row! There was miniature fort building for the princesses, snuggles, campfire stories, marshmallow roasting, smore eating and even time for Mama to read her book. Life is GOOD! I think my favorite part of the evening was watching him hold her in his arms in the glow of the fire, telling her Starwars stories as she drifted off to sleep. What is better than witnessing the love between the people you love best.
Our dog was our first baby. Reggie is severely and unfortunately neglected the other 363 days of the year. However, this is what I imagine Doggie Heaven is like.
These are few of my favorite things.
Sadly, we had to leave and rejoin our regular lives. I could have stayed at least a week longer, however, Lucy was ready to head for home. Two nights was the perfect amount of time for her first trip and I know it won't be her last. The hike out was a bit easier, however, Lucy was getting fussy. She didn't want to walk, but she complained that sitting in the pack was starting to hurt. Luckily, we decided to try some hide and seek on the trail and it worked perfectly. Dad would run up ahead and "hide" behind a tree while we counted. Lucy had so much fun running along to find dad and when it was her turn she would say, "I'm going to hide right here" and point to a flower. Then it was Dad's turn again. This lasted at least a mile and thankfully we reached our car just in time.
I absolutely love the opportunity to build lasting relationships with families and watch their children grow. I have known Amy since our college years together at the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) This was my third session with her son Everett and he is all boy! I loved following him around looking at leaves, digging in the dirt and finding bugs.
What happens when Hawaiian twin brothers become father's of adorable babies born less than two weeks apart? They host the most amazing 1st birthday Luau for their babes complete with kalua pork, hula dancing, music, laughter and the joining of families from near and far. I hold a special affinity for happa babies, being one myself, and it was so much fun to follow this group of seven gorgeous cousins. It was a true honor to capture these precious memories and portraits for the grandparents present with all of their grandchildren. Hau'oli La Hanau Ellen & Koamalu!
While it was a typical, rainy, Oregon day, you wouldn't know it from these smiles. Although they reside in California now, these "Oregonians at heart" decided to brave the downpour and ignore the rain. It worked! Somehow we fished the session while avoiding the torrential rain that finally fell on us as we walked back to our cars. Hard to believe that I went to high school with these two! Fast forward 20 years and they are now a beautiful family of four. Enjoy your sneak peek!
Our family usually spends Memorial Day weekend celebrating my husband's birthday. We started our three-day birthday extravaganza with a beautiful hike up Dog Mountain. I absolutely love when we can take advantage of living in our gorgeous Pacific Northwest! The wildflowers are blooming, the sun made an appearance, and our little trooper is becoming such an awesome hiker. My heart is full. Wishing you and your families a weekend full of adventure, wonder and full hearts.
Sundays are usually pretty busy around here. So I luxuriated in a day filled with nothing but relaxation and play time. We napped, we stayed in our pajamas and our little princess had fun with one of her favorite activities, getting ready for the ball. I love moments like these that help me slow down and appreciate our life together. What are Sundays like at your house? Please share your family's favorite weekend activities!
Welcome to my blog! I am Leah, a wife to Grant and a mother to our Little Lucy and Baby Gabe - my inspiration, my joys and my loves. I prefer to utilize natural light to capture the joy and love in the lives of others as well. Here you will find my most recent work. Please leave a comment and follow along!