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jennifer + brandon

A year filled with planning, learning, paperwork and travel (a LOT of paperwork and travel) and prayer, hope and love has led to this . . . a lifetime of learning and loving and  growing a fabulous family.

Jennifer and Brandon brought home their amazing daughters last month and I had the honor of documenting an afternoon in their new life. . . and it could not have been more fun.

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Kitten Love

I have been wanting to adopt a couple of kittens for a long time. Long, like years kind of long. In Eugene, we lived in a very (VERY) small house on a very busy street, a block away from a very busy intersection. Neither outdoor nor indoor cats seemed to be a good idea there. Then we relocated to Medford. We lived in an apartment while closing the deal on a house we loved even though we knew it would require a lot of work. I had to wait until we moved out of the apartment, and then I had to wait until we were finished with the bulk of the construction. 

Finally, a friend adopted a cat that she wanted to surprise her children with at Christmas. We agreed to be a foster family for Sugar for the two weeks leading up to Christmas. Everyone fell in love with her and we decided to take the leap and adopt our own. 

Meet Vincenzo Hulouie Allensis. . . he’s approximately 5 months old. We mostly call him Enzo. Sometimes Chenzo. He’s found a new best friend in our 7-year old son, Hayden. They love to cuddle while playing video games. When Enzo is not sleeping on my feet at night, he’s occupying the bottom bunk in Hayden’s room. He is fascinated with water – he loves to drop his toys in his water dish, snooze in the bathroom sink or tip over his water bowl (or your glass of water if you turn your back) and play in the spill.

I set up a black back drop to take some photos of Enzo today and walked away to get my camera and some treats to bribe him with. When I came back, he was sitting in the middle of the backdrop, posing and patiently waiting for me to get back. 






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Long (long, long) Overdue Family Photos

When my oldest son was a baby, we took him to a studio to have his photos taken and the photographer commented that he hardly ever took any photos of his own child. I was horrified and thought that if I had a studio set up, I’d take endless portraits of my own children to add to the thousands of snapshots I took everyday. Fast forward a few years, as I slowly accumulated the equipment. For a long time, I was great and I took a lot of photos – both snapshots and portraits – of my kids. In the last couple of years, though, I’ve slowed way down. The kids are older and they don’t want their photos taken anymore, we’re all busy and it’s tough to schedule,whatever.

We had family in town last week and because this doesn’t happen all that often, we coerced all of the children (and maybe a few adults) and offered frozen yogurt for incentive if everyone cooperated. As we left the house, it began to rain. There may or may not have been a grumpy kid or two and a few, “I am not having my picture taken” mutterings. We pressed on.

And I’m so glad we did. . .

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So worth every minute of it. The frozen yogurt the photographer got as a reward helped.




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Class of 2013 . . . Go Wildcats!!

My first senior photo session for the class of 2013 was a special one – the son of one of my best friends from my childhood through high school. My family and I made the 3000+ mile trek back to my home town for the big centennial celebration that doubled the population of the town for the weekend. And serendipitously, it was perfect timing for taking Christian’s senior pictures.

First stop was at the city pool where Christian is a lifeguard (and where I got a 6th place ribbon for swimming the backstroke when I was on the swimteam in the 4th grade, but this isn’t about me.)

Next stop, the dam . . .

Then to a brilliant mustard field just south of the Canadian border. . .

And to a friend’s backyard and a favorite park . . .

And we finished up at his grandpa’s veterinary clinic where he works when he’s not kayaking, excelling in school, playing his trombone, swimming, competing in speech and drama, or helping out his parents or younger brothers.

When you have such awesome school colors and such a funky letterman’s jacket (sometimes I take mine out and wear it around the house just because it’s so cool) you should probably keep the color in the photos, but I really like this one in black and white, too:

Thank you so much for letting me do your photos, Christian! And thank you for allowing your mom and I a trip down memory lane – I can’t believe we’re old enough to have children graduating, but it was a great time, anyway!

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Springtime in Southern Oregon

My newest clients led me to my new favorite park to shoot in . . . so many beautiful opportunities in the park, and just a short walk to some great places in downtown Ashland.  I took my littlest guy with me to check out the park beforehand and he can’t wait to share it with the rest of the family.