Portrait

Park Academy

Park Academy is the only school in the state of Oregon designed specifically for educating kids with dyslexia, elementary through high school. In photographing some of the students for the school's new website, I saw first hand a program that is driven with heart and passionate commitment to ensuring these kids don't fall through the cracks. And the support they get from the community at large is incredible, as was evident at last year's fundraiser featuring keynote speaker Henry Winkler, who also struggled with dyslexia.

If this is a cause near and dear to you or someone you know, tickets are still available for this year's fundraiser on June 22. This year's guest speaker is Danny Glover...and I'm not sure who is more excited about that fact...the school or me.

CCD + Inside Fashion Design

I recently photographed this talented team of women who make up Creative Capital Design, for the launch of their new site Inside Fashion Design, a go to for behind the scenes look into the world of apparel design, offering workshops, tutorials, trend talks and insider interviews.

I would like to think they were laughing with me, not at me, though I'm 99.9% sure it's the former. But puppies. Always bring puppies to a shoot.

Ed

Ten years ago, when I launched headfirst (and foolhardy some would say) from the corporate world into the freelance world, a very generous and brave friend and his equally generous and brave lady friend invited me to photograph their family. Ten years on, I had been feeling the need to reach back out to a. apologize and b. pay them back. Not less than a day after this thought floated across my brain, Ed emailed to ask if I could photograph him as he closes the door on his own corporate life of 33 years with Nike (thirty.three.years people), and opens the door for the next.

I can't do justice with the words needed to describe the immense bravery it takes to step away from everything you've known your entire adult life. But if anything, Ed has the smarts, confidence, humor and grace (in spades) to forge what I'm sure will be a wildly successful post Nike life.

The world has a funny way of spinning sometimes. And I continue to be grateful for the humans, intersections, and stories it continues to bring my way.

Light The Way

A few favorites from a recent portfolio shoot with and for the lovely Miss Marcelina.

Portrait Of A (Portland) Artist

Andrea and I share more than a name. A past life spent at Nike, our current iterations as Portland creatives, our adoration for our respective fathers and the loss of both of those amazing men last year.

A few months ago, I had the opportunity to while away a morning in her fabulous (and enviable) studio, trying to capture for her new website, Andrea Henning Design, the essence of her spirit, her creative space, and her amazing ability as both a graphic designer and fine artist.

I have her to thank for my logos, creative collaboration, and so much more. It takes a lot to put yourself out into the world as an artist, especially when you pour so much of your own personal self into the process, exposing all your nooks and crannies for the world and clients to see. You know the quote "it takes a village to raise a child"?  Yeah, that applies to making it as a creative too, and I'm so grateful to have her in my village.

In Conclusion: 2015

...a year that unequivocally changed my life. The day after my last post, almost to the hour, my dad was hit and killed half way through his second cross country bike ride that was in celebration of his 75th birthday. 

I could barely breathe, let alone push a button those first few weeks. In the minutes, hours, weeks, and six months since, I have had to rebuild my identity, piece by excruciating piece. My dad was a devoted father, adoring grandfather to my two kids, my wing man and all around super hero. Losing him turned my heart inside out and left me feeling completely untethered.

My dad was carrying this photo in his journal, and it has given me some small measure of solace in knowing he had this with him, as well as a very tangible way to carry him forward with me. As it has always been with me and photography, *the most enduring and precious gifts I have ever received are images of people I love. This was his gift to me.

And while this shocking new reality and resulting war with grief raged on, there were still bills to be paid and kids to be fed. So I picked up my camera again. It's what I know and it's what brings me great peace. And as such, has played a significant role in helping me put one foot in front of the other, both during the course of finding some degree of normal, any normal, in my life again, as well as a way to document for myself this path and pain that I thought for sure would destroy me. 

I tell you this in order to explain the last six months of silence on my blog. And to let you know that though this process has rearranged every fiber of my being and left an enduring mark...the grief hasn't won. 

As this year closes and a new one begins, I need to express complete and humble gratitude to my clients who, over the last six months, have all knowingly or unknowingly, contributed to helping me find once again grace, humor, and connection to this life. I feel more than ever and with my whole being, that I am doing what I was put on this earth to do. And look forward more than I ever imagined possible all to come.

1859 Oregon Magazine: Mike Heist

Otherwise known as "The King Of Neon", Mike Heist is a master of the old school art of all things neon.  Part science, part hot air and part voodoo magic, it's a fascinating process to behold and photograph.  And Mike has just as much character as the work he creates. 

You can read about Mike and his work in the January issue of 1859 Oregon Magazine.


The Science Of Cosmetics

A chemist and entrepreneur, Paula Hayes bubbled and brewed for years in order to perfect Hue Noir, an organic, small batch makeup line she just launched, that is formulated specifically for darker skinned women.  Without a doubt, she was indeed the smartest woman in the room. 

The Girl Scout Promise

Back in the day, as a pigtail-wearing, skinned-knee young lass, I was a proud card carrying member of the Girl Scouts...particularly fond of arts + crafts, fire making, and, let's not kid ourselves, snack time.  Then my best friend decided we looked better in blue than we did in brown....so we switched to Bluebirds, and that was that.

Fast forward 30+ years (ouch), and I had the chance to revisit that world.  Girl Scouts Of America recently highlighted three volunteers from the Girl Scouts Of Oregon & SW Washington chapter, who all saw beyond the color of their skirts and, realizing the bigger opportunities Girl Scouts could deliver, spent their childhood as Girl Scout members, and were now paying it forward to the next generation of young girls.  As young women in their 20's who face a multitude of alternate choices for their free time, their personal commitment is incredible and inspiring.

And I see now, as both a business owner as well as the mother of a young girl fighting a seemingly uphill battle against the outside pressures to fit in, what Girl Scouts can help provide to girls from all walks of life.   The opportunity to see themselves as capable leaders.  As doers.  As change makers.  It's a message that is profound and measurable and cannot be underestimated.