Just in time for Valentine's Day, I get to share this incredible set of photos. Once in a blue moon I am lucky enough to have a stunning client who allows me to share what we capture during their boudoir session. This is one of those magical rare moments, yay!
Tyler had modeled for me before when I worked for the ESPN Fan Girls, but now she was getting married (yay again)! Each time we had shot in the past we focused on showcasing the incredibly unique brand of silly sexy that only Tyler can pull off; American cowgirl theme on a horse, dressed as a Christmas elf on a snowmobile at Mt Hood, in mens undies eating junk food and drinking beer watching football. . . Yes, that happened (check out my boudoir port for the proof). This time, the bride-to-be wanted something to show off her softer side, with a surprise bridal gift for her fiancé. So we took a classic approach to boudoir, in my Hillsboro, Oregon studio (just outside Portland) with a clean all white monochrome background and manipulated soft, natural light. We allowed for plenty of time for multiple wardrobe changes to reflect Tyler's personal style; a playful, colorful teddy, a vintage fur coat, the must-have vixen uniform; black stockings and garter belt, and more (or less), not featured here for obvious reasons.
I created copies for her in both full color and black and white, she also received a wonderful photo book with her favorite photos, which she gave to hubs the day of their wedding. The results fall just short of how beautiful this amazing woman is in person (only because her personality is beyond beauty), and serve as a great example of what to expect during a classic, in-studio boudoir session with me. Now, stop being jealous and book your own. ;)
This post is slightly (okay, much) more personal than usual. Not only because the following photographs are of myself, but also because I am going to delve into a topic outside of photography. It's a subject that will hit home for most women and I am going to shamelessly use the only soapbox to which I have access in order to address it. The dreaded body image topic, dun dun duuuuunnnnnn! Yes, that was my (almost successful) attempt at foreboding music. Don't fret! This time the story has a happy ending. . .
Like most women, I have spent my entire teen and adult life counting calories, doing crunches, and cramming my booty into the tightest jeans I could find. All to still come up feeling just short of beautiful. It's pretty common knowledge that one of the most amazing moments in a woman's life is the moment when she finds out she is pregnant. However, no one ever talks about the moment immediately following that moment. The moment when a woman sees a lifetime of hard work at maintaining her figure come crashing down around her in an entirely out of control rain of hell fire. While pregnant I was scared out of my mind and felt totally helpless about the changes happening to my body. I often referred to my body as "the traitor" and avoided passing mirrors in my own home. During my first maternity photo shoot (with my dear friend and talented fellow photographer, Jessica Heriot) I felt incredibly self-conscious and covered up as much as possible. I had fallen victim to the pop culture beauty standards none of us are entirely immune to.
Then, at thirty eight weeks along, something changed. I felt that I started to get to know my baby. It all became real. Soon he would be here, and I would have a baby. I, ME, would have a baby! Suddenly I saw my body in a whole new light. Instead of being worried about the changes to the way my body looked, I was overwhelmed by a complete awe of what it was accomplishing. I made a vow to never again disrespect myself by taking my body for granted. After all, I was creating life! What could possibly be more amazing than that? The revelation that in order to appreciate what my body was achieving I must also appreciate the way it looks was nothing short of miraculous. So I decided to put my new found appreciation to the test; by going all in and photographing myself nude.
I was frightened beyond words, but I did it. And afterwards, I have never either felt, or felt that I looked more beautiful. Somehow I had gone even beyond the acceptance I had once regarded as unachievable, to genuine love of my body (all round, dimpled, stretch mark covered 185 pounds of it). I am sharing this experience in hopes that somewhere out there on the interwebs is another pregnant woman going through the same struggle, and maybe after reading this she will be able to also see her body for how incredibly wonderful it really is. Maybe it won't be immediate, and it certainly won't be easy. But if my neurotic, negative body image riddled self I can do it, so can you. :)
Right in between the time when the Oregon rain is too cold and wet for baby, and when the Oregon summer sun is too hot for baby, that is where I found myself this perfect Spring day with Ariel, Lyndon, and Bentley. We met at the Hoyt Arboretum, in Portland's beautiful Forest Park, for this little crew's very first family portrait. I have worked with Ariel a couple times in the past, on fashion projects, as she is a model. But it was a real pleasure to get to see her now in her mom element with fiance Lyndon and eight month old Bentley. Thank you guys so much for a lovely afternoon and I hope to see you again soon! :)
As the weather starts to make a (albeit painfully gradual) turn for the better I am beyond excited to get back to the Columbia River Gorge for some upcoming spring and summer photo shoots! Here's a look back at one of my favorites from last year, an engagement session with the wonderful Alysha and Kori.
Alysha's beautiful makeup look was created by Alena Chivon Morris of Make Up Yo Life/Makeup by Lena Morris (www.makeupyolifepdx.com), and the stunning floral crown was custom designed by Jeri Barr at Bella Bloom Florals (www.bellabloomflorals.com). We began our session early in the morning at Oneonta Narrows where we braved the freezing cold water and (somewhat treacherous while wearing a dress and carrying gear) log jamb. SO WORTH IT! We then moved on to the Women's Forum, with a spectacular view down the gorge and of the Vista House in the distance. Lastly, we went on to Latourelle Falls, where we made sure to get in our quintessential waterfall shots. Thank you to all involved with this wonderful and memorable day in the gorge! :)
Not long ago, I was invited to travel from Hillsboro to Beaverton, into the home of a wonderful family, new to Oregon, and with a very new addition. Verena was only two weeks old, and was just a sweet as can be. I approached this session from a documentary photography style, capturing not only the newborn little one, but also her big brother, her nursery, and their interactions as a family around their home. It was intimate and beautiful and I feel honored to have been a part of it. Working in this style was a great way to capture a very candid and real sense of the love this family has for one another. I would absolutely be thrilled to do more work in this style; newborn photography, family photography, engagement photography, even boudoir photography could all be great from this approach. If you are interested in capturing some moments of your own like this, let me know!
So I'm a little late posting this, but I wanted to share the first boudoir session shot in the new photography studio, here in Hillsboro, Oregon! I was working with the stunningly beautiful Ashley for her bridal boudoir book as a gift for her future hubby on their wedding day. We captured some traditional bridal all white shots, including this adorable white satin "Bride" robe from Victoria's Secret, as well as switched it up with some black and white lingerie. Then we threw in some Portland Trailblazers theme shots, since the hubs is a huge Blazers fan. And we topped it all off with a few golf themed photos, as the lucky groom is also an avid golfer. We had a ton of fun and she was thrilled with the results, as was I. :)
As you can see, the new studio features rich neutral walls and an all white, very romantic velvet toulouse bed. There are also multiple linens to choose from and several chair options, as well. As Ashley chose to do, in studio you have the freedom to switch up your outfit as many times as you wish during your shoot. Ashley is fortunate enough to have a professional hairdresser as a sister, and experience herself as a MAC girl, so she did not require adding on professional styling, but keep in mind these are professional results. I always recommend using a very talented hair stylist and makeup artist. I work with several so that there is always someone available to come to the studio and personally style you before your session.
This spring I was contacted by my friend and fellow wedding industry cohort Lisa, of Events By Lisa Marie, who let me know she was planning a surprise proposal, and that the soon-to-be groom (Vincent) wanted to have it photographed. First of all, way to go Vinny! Take note, men, as this is how it is done. I really cannot say it enough, ALL WOMEN DREAM OF A SECRET PHOTOGRAPHER AT THEIR PROPOSAL! Including me . . . cough, cough . . . Anyway, Vinny is clearly awesome and already knew this. So I hopped on board and "Project Spring Ring" commenced. Vincent was out of the country and so our scheming took place via three way emails, until the big day, when I finally got to meet him in person.
It was Holli and Vinny's anniversary. As Vinny was out of the country, Holli was not at all expecting to get to see him. Instead, with the help of Lisa and the couples families, what Holli thought to be a small family BBQ was planned at Cook Park, in Beaverton. I arrived early to pick the perfect hiding spot and also brought with me my boyfriend, the perfect cover story: What? we are just a couple of love birds enjoying the park, taking some photos of each other. ;) Lisa had a romantic catered lunch set up in the pavilion, complete with flowers, candles, photos of the couple, lots of the brides favorite color, purple, and her favorite food, Mexican, prepared by Divine Catering. Once the stage was set, Vinny got all spiffied up (in a purple shirt, I might add, so sweet!), everyone else took cover, and I was on squirrel duty, repeatedly chasing a little guy away who as determined to partake in the fiesta, while we anxiously Holli's arrival . . .
When she arrived and found Vinny there she was overjoyed, thinking it was just a surprise anniversary gift. They laughed and held each other while enjoying margaritas and their delicious lunch, all while I was secretly capturing it all from afar. Then Vinny walked Holli over to a beautiful dock to give her the anniversary gift he had prepared; a very touching hand made book. While she was admiring it, he got down on one knee and proposed. Of course she said yes! She was so excited she dropped the book and jumped into his arms.
When I made my presence known the look on Holli's face was priceless! I made sure to capture a few freshly engaged portraits of the two cooing, cuddling, and grinning their faces off (they were too adorable for words), before they joined their families to celebrate their engagement. Their formal engagement session is scheduled for late September, and I will also have the pleasure of shooting their wedding in January. I can't wait! These two are so in love and so happy; this was honestly one of the most amazing photo shoots I have ever had the honor of being a part of. Thanks so much to everyone involved: the happy couple, Events By Lisa Marie (http://eventsbylisamarie.com/), and Divine Catering (http://divine-catering.com/). Big hugs to all! :)
Beautiful little Adaline (Ada) and her family came all the way from Lebanon for this one year portrait session with me, here in Hillsboro. It was a beautiful day and we took a drive out in the country until we found the perfect little barn with stunning views of a pasture below. Ada was dressed in her girliest best with a tutu hand made by her mother, and her grandmothers pink pearls. We had a great morning, picking flowers and running around in the sunshine. It was wonderful to see how much she had grown since I photographed her last, at her three month session. :)
New month, new special! All of July you can take advantage of this 25% off sale for complete collections of full size/resolution digital files, complete with legal copyright release. This means you will be able to print the photographs yourself, or take them to a lab for printing. The files will be delivered on a beautiful, customized, reusable, high quality thumb drive. When purchased individually, these files are a cost of $50 each, so this is a great deal. This is a wonderful option for anyone needing multiple prints; perfect for family portraits, newborn photography, senior sessions, you name it.
Click here to take advantage of this month's special: http://www.leahanabyrdphotography.com/store/complete-collection-of-digital-files-with-copyrights/
Last year I had the pleasure of capturing Oliver's one year portrait, along with some family photos with his parents, Alicia and Brett Shroyer. I am so thrilled to have had the opportunity to do it again this year for his second birthday. The Shroyers made the treck from Oregon City, and I from Hillsboro, to beautiful Sauvie Island. We could not have asked for better weather! We battled out the sun a bit, but with the help of a slight breeze, sunscreen, and a little good old fashioned M&M bribery, we had a lovely time and walked away with some amazing photographs. We explored three different shooting locations on the island: a flower field, a wheat field, and a fantastic old tin barn. Oliver loves books, so we incorporated reading into the shoot, as well. Seeing families grow year after year is one of the most amazing parts of my job. Thanks again guys, you're awesome! :)
Each month I shoot a sexy boudoir/pinup style wallpaper calendar for ESPN Sports Radio 1080 The FAN. June's theme was golf, in honor of the 3rd annual FAN Golf Classic, going on today at Langdon Farms Golf Club in Aurora. With the help of David and the rest of the incredibly friendly and accommodating staff at Langdon Farms, we commandeered a golf cart and hit the links! We kept it fun, athletic, and flirty. I have had the pleasure of working with FAN Girl Annalee twice in the past and she is always a riot: really funny and a total sweetheart. On set with us was the talented Monique Easley of Vanity Junkie Salon (downtown Portland), who can be given credit for this INSANELY fantastic magenta, purple, pink ombre hair color and flirty styling. The slightly overcast skies and lush colors of the green combined with killer styling and the beautiful Annalee resulted in some of my favorite FAN Girl photos to date. As always, I had the pleasure of working with an all around great team and loved every minute of it. Thanks again to everyone involved!
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