So happy to be able to work with Dr. Dustin again on yet another photo shoot session for his office. It’s definitely a fun learning experience for me since this is not the typical type of photography I do. I’m sharing some of the photos I took last week. The lighting during shooting consisted of a black back drop right next to a large window with the shades tilted so that minimal light fell on one side of the client. The overhead lights completely off, the room was quite dim. I also had my SB-700 Nikon Flash off camera on the opposite side of the client. I was positioned on a step ladder a little bit above  and I had the client sitting  on a stool at the lowest setting. I think this vantage point is flattering and I’m glad I thought of shooting from above.

It was the very first time I shot tethered to my laptop which was so helpful. I was able to show the client the photo and they were able to pick their favorite photo right then and there, this really helped me in my editing work flow since I already  knew which photo to edit when I got home it cut the sorting process completely out.  Editing consisted of very few adjustments – exposure, sharpness, highlights and shadows as well as a little bit of tone curve adjustments and then worked on softening the skin, this is not my forte but I feel that it is necessary especially since these supper sharp cameras today capture every little spot and wrinkle there is. I also did some dodging and burning here and there to enhance each of these portraits. The black and white portrait was super easy, I started with switching to B&W and then increased shadows and sharpness and the tone curve adjustments just as in the color portraits. The workflow was completed in LR 5 and went pretty fast. I’m absolutely looking forward to more work like this.
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Angels Rest | Columbia Gorge Hike

This hike is a winding trail (#415) on the western end of the Columbia River Gorge that takes you up to great views. It starts at about river level and quickly climbs up through trees and then over boulders before rising to a bluff above the river.  From the top, you’ll get a spectacular 270 degree view of the Gorge, including many landmarks like Beacon Rock and Silver Star Mountain. -gorgefriends.org

Hiking in the Columbia Gorge is the number one thing I love about where I live. I love being able to get out of the city and be in nature and the beauty in the Gorge is for lack of better words – soothing to my soul. Today on Valentine’s day I got to experience this hike for the second time with my long time friend Tabitha, it was such a special day, full of reflection and admiration of God’s artistic and creative attributes.

Another achievement on this hike to the top of Angels Rest is that I finally go to see THE BENCH. This massive wooden bench was carried up to the top of Angels Rest by a loving husband who lost his young wife. I had the privilege of meeting Susan Hendricks husband, Jeff and their son while I was in my Dental Hygiene Program at Mt. Hood Community College.  Their story and the husband’s commitment to his wife’s memory was extremely moving. Although I had been up here before I wasn’t able to locate the bench, as we found out today it was not placed in an obvious spot, once you get to the top you must continue forward (past where the crowds stop to have their lunch) and take a left onto a narrow winding path. So glad my friend located it today, it provided us a perfect place for a snack and rest for our tired feet.

Hope you enjoy this collection of photos from our time out in nature.


Chasing the Sun

Continuing  on with the Landscape theme… last night as I was driving my son to his Awana class I took a little detour and drove along the Columbia River to capture some shots as the sun was setting. The weather was amazing, it’s hard to believe it’s January as warm as it felt as I was taking these shots.My dad warns me that a warm winter means a cold summer which really bums me out if that is in fact true. I very much hope he is wrong about this.

I started out near Blue Lake park where it is more inland, then drove west on Marine Drive to capture some photos after the sun had set and the sky was such a gorgeous color. I know the shot of Mt. Hood is pretty lame because all of the interrupting power lines and such but I had to snap it. I have this goal that someday I’ll get an amazing shot of Mt. Hood you know one like photographer Ben Canales has done. If you don’t know who he is check out his website thestartrail.com, it’ll blow your mind. I’m in love with Landscape Photography, so excited to learn more and more about this type of photography, someday hoping to do one of Ben’s workshops. Until then…

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Lost and looking for Lost Lake

The day after my hike in the Gorge was a Sunday and it was sunny and warm and I had caught the hiking bug. After  morning church I did a little research and decided that my little family and I would drive up to Lost Lake to take a photo of Mt. Hood just after sunset. I mean it couldn’t be that hard right? I looked up the time the sun was supposed to set 5:06, my husband google mapped Lost Lake and said it was a 50 minute drive. I read up on what it would take to hike Lost Lake, apparently it’s a flat hike about 3.2 miles around and easy to do with small kids. We packed up some warm clothes and some water and we were off.

One hour later as we are reaching Hood River we are figuring out that we should have gone up hwy 26 and not through Hood River because this way it was almost a 2 hour drive. So fine, we stopped in Hood River got some snacks and coffee and we were off again to find Lost Lake. After a very windy one-lane road with about 1foot of snow in some spots we arrived just outside the entrance to the Lost Lake campground with about 30 minutes to spare. Now we were confused because ahead there was one gate completely shut and to our left a gate was left just open enough that a car could pass. So we decided that had to be the way in and we took a left, going carefully as we tested out the snow so that we would be able to return and not get stuck. After about 15 minutes we arrived at the end of the road (which we were told would end by a group of three young hikers we had met just about a minute before) walking back up that trail. On our way back we offered them a ride but they decided that they preferred the walk. So back we went to find another way to Lost Lake and finally getting back to our starting point in front of the two gates we got out of the car and walked down the path past the 2nd closed gate.

We made it to the lake but unfortunately not all the way around the lake where, supposedly there is a good spot for photographing Mt. Hood. I got some great photos in none the less and we stayed until it was so dark we could no longer see our car ahead. It got a bit spooky walking up the path to our car it was a good 5 min walk in the dark with two little ones. But the scariest part was just ahead. My husband decided that we would take the shorter route home through hwy 26, well we had no idea what conditions we would encounter having not come up that way. The road leading to hwy 26 was about 20 miles long,  small unpaved, lots of potholes, no lights, but the worst part of it was all the trees that had fallen into the roadside through some winter storm they must have had up there. I was holding on to my stomach and my seat, I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous in my whole life and my husband was driving much too fast for me. It looked like we were driving in an S pattern as well as we were down to less than a quarter tank of gas. I was praying so hard that we would make it back down the mountain to a gas station in time, all the while thinking and mentally preparing for possibly being stuck up there over night. Don’t think I’ll be trying that one again soon.2015-01-27_0011 2015-01-27_0045 2015-01-27_0016 2015-01-27_0017 2015-01-27_0018 2015-01-27_0015 2015-01-27_0013 2015-01-27_0014 2015-01-27_0026 2015-01-27_0025 2015-01-27_0027 2015-01-27_0024 2015-01-27_0021 2015-01-27_0020 2015-01-27_0022 2015-01-27_0023 2015-01-27_0030 2015-01-27_0029 2015-01-27_0032 2015-01-27_0033 2015-01-27_0034 2015-01-27_0035 2015-01-27_0036 2015-01-27_0037 2015-01-27_0039 2015-01-27_0040 2015-01-27_0041 2015-01-27_0042 2015-01-27_0043 2015-01-27_0044

Christmas Decor|NW PDX

Recently I was asked by my brother Cosmin to photograph the Christmas Decor (his work) at the Sentinel Hotel (previously the Governor) and Hotel Lucia both of which are located in downtown Portland, as well as the store front window of CDExD. As always I was very happy to help out and excited to get out there and do some photography. I have to preface this by stating that although this is not the type of photography I traditionally do, I enjoyed having a new project and seeing what I learned. Learning new things is always something I highly value and find most rewarding.

Photographing indoors is not my favorite as I’m not huge on flash photography and that is because I’m not experienced with it and feel much frustration over it, so I tried to not use my flash at all and after all was said and done I did not even keep any of those photos. But as I’ve been putting my very capable Nikon D810 to work, I’ve found that it  can do a lot more for me then my previous camera was capable of in low light. Not to nock it, because let me tell you I still love my old Nikon D3 and don’t plan on retiring it just yet. It’s just nice to see how much technology has advanced in 7 years since my D3 was initially released. This project was a blast to do and I am so excited to share my photos with you, I hope you enjoy perusing them as much as I did taking them.

First we went to the Sentinel Hotel which used to be the old Governor hotel located in the heart of PDX right off Broadway. The way Cosmin decorated this hotel was in keeping with its more traditional style and it was beautiful. I loved all the little touches, every nook and cranny had some special little gem to attract the eye.

The Sentinel Hotel {Governor}
















Next we went to the more contemporary Hotel Lucia also located in downtown PDX off Broadway. The photos taken from the outside looking in on that magnificent ornament tree are my favorites. Such a great job that he did and I can’t imaging how long it took. I would not want to take that down.

Hotel Lucia














The store front of CDExD was our last stop, here Cosmin asked that I photograph this amazing evergreen gown. The textures and details are just so absolutely beautiful, woodsy and earthy and feminine, I just love it. Great work bro.








Happy New Years all,


It’s Party Time!!! {Christmas 2014}

Christmas is for ‘merry making’ and that’s just what we did last night. Our friends, Anka, Ezechel and little Apollo hosted a very fun and festive White Elephant Christmas Party, where the kids were asked to come in their Christmas PJ’s and we were to bring a gift each for the kiddos to open and one ‘white elephant’ gift for the adults. We of course complied. 🙂 The kids were dressed very comfortable and ready to party into the night…

The night unfolded naturally and lots of fun was had. Good food, and lot’s of dessert options were prepared ahead of time and I just want to say thank you to all who contributed to my gaining a pound or two ;).  As is obvious from the photos, the kids couldn’t wait to get to their gifts and then the adults followed suit. The great steal of the night was the Norwex towels and the USB memory stick/CD gifts. The funniest gift was the empty bottle of a Dom Perignon with accompanying wine glasses. I think for the kids it varied but I can say that Seth’s Rockets with Launcher was a big hit amongst the boys. They were so good about taking turns with launching off rockets and Anka and Ezechel were great sports about it too. I would say among the ladies the biggest hit was little baby Matthew. Cristina and Narcis you sure make beautiful babies, congratulations on the new addition, may God bless the four of you.

I was so happy that before leaving I got most of the families to stop and pose for a photo in front of the Christmas tree. I love capturing memories for people and for myself as well, there’s nothing like having photographs to look back on. Sometimes it feels like a hassle but every single time I went ahead and photographed an event I attended I always was glad of it.


So here goes, be prepared for an album worth of photos:























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Merry Christmas to all,



19th & Marshall & Santa Claus…

Woke up today with a ToDo list as long as my arm and by no means did I think that at 2 o’clock in the afternoon I’d be on the corner of 19th and Marshall doing an impromptu but oh so fun photo shoot.

Day started out with some online research/shopping, Christmas being a week away I realize I’m really good at procrastinating. The day followed with the mail delivering our Christmas Cards that still need to be addressed stamped and mailed… ha! I do hope I get them out since I put the effort in making them.  But I decided the cards could wait till tomorrow during my lunch hour and so we ( Seth Luke and I) were off to do some final shopping today before my long work day tomorrow.

While at the mall I realized that the boys had still not had their annual santa visit so we ran to the other end of the mall hoping that we wouldn’t be facing a long line to see the man in red. It was blessedly short we were the 2nd people in line WOW! This close to Christmas it was the last thing I expected.  The boys sat on his lap at the same time and did very well, no tears but lots of smiles and chatter and both promised Santa that they would pick up their rooms and go to bed when mommy told them. haha… I decided to just go with the Digital download on those photos since it was the best priced option. 2014-12-18_0016


Next we hopped around from store to store as I had a bunch of returns. Two hours later I only had 3/5 returns done, 2 are still in my trunk, the long lines at the stores really wore on me, but I wonder how much worse it would be right after the holidays. 😦

Did I mention we went through two toddler tantrums before we got to the toy store for the boys to buy each other’s Christmas presents?

I got the kids in the car and just felt worn out but realized I had never had my coffee that morning so we ended the morning with the decision to drive downtown. I had to go to one more store and the only location happens to be in NW Portland, so I called my sisters to meet me there. We got ourselves some delicious coffee, my very favorite, coffee from Cafe Umbria. Anyone else out there think that their coffee is as good as gold? I don’t think I’ve ever had coffee I like better. I know any coffee can taste good with a bunch of milk and syrup but the way their espresso orAmericano tastes… Yum!

So here it is 2 o’clock in the afternoon 3 sisters having coffee on the corner of a street in downtown PDX, one toddler completely out (in the back in his carseat) and another one wanting to run and jump and just be a kid, what do I do! I let him out of the car and right there on the sidewalk I start to take pictures. I don’t know what it is but sometimes when you think no one’s watching you let loose and the photos are the best, here are some of the fun captures from this lovely, cloudy afternoon.










Decided to end our day as the rain arrived and the three of us settled in for a long ride home during rush hour, exactly one week before Christmas… was I worried? Nah, it gave the kids just enough time for a good nap. I feel like I will look back on this day so fondly. I am very grateful for all that God has done in our lives and hope that I can remember daily to be more thankful.  Thank you Lord for this hectic yet absolutely lovely day…




One more workday before Christmas for me… so exciting.