Through The Looking Glass

Ten Years Of Gratitude + Claire's Communion

I find it incredibly fortuitous that I wrapped up edits on a shoot commemorating an important milestone in the lives of a family who have been devoted friends for plus 10 years, and loyal clients for the better part of the last 10...on the eve of the day that marks year 10 I officially cut the chord from the corporate world, stood at the edge of this cliff, said a small prayer, took a deep breath, and jumped.

And one hundred times over...knowing what I know now...I would jump again. Because despite the insecurity that inevitably comes with running your own business, and an intensely competitive and creative one at that, I wake up hungry for more...the driving desire to capture more moments as well as the insatiable desire for more learning. I'm not sure I will ever feel like I've "arrived" as a photographer and I'm completely ok with that.

So not only do I want to give a massive thank you to my dear friends here who have supported me in this work from day one, but to every single one of my clients over the last 3,650 days who have believed in me, shared their lives with me, and inspired me to do better every time I pick up my camera. There aren't enough words in the English language to describe the immense sense of gratitude I have for this path I'm on and the people sharing it with me.

Croad Family

The universe conspired to put this beautiful family in my path and I couldn't be more grateful. We met at a cross country meet last fall and I discovered this family of Kiwis now residing in Portland, had previously lived in my small and relatively unknown hometown in Northern Virginia. Small world connections like that never cease to amaze me. But when we met up for their family shoot, that connection got infinitely smaller...not only had they lived in my hometown, but they had been neighbors and close friends with my tenth grade English teacher, a woman who helped inspire and nurture my love of storytelling, and is likely unaware of the massive role she played in helping to set the course for my college studies (and with whom I'm reconnected to thanks to Facebook).

I'm still in awe of this chance meeting. And with the time I shared with them in their own private slice of heaven, complete with real waterfalls. As well as the most delicious lamb shepherds pie they fed me after.

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Outta Dodge

For the third year in a road, I hit the road with one of my kids for spring break in what has become a very welcomed change of scenery. We pointed our wheels north and paid a visit to some dear friends who live in the other Vancouver. It was grey, it rained every day, and never minding the fact we got towed on the very last day, we loved every mile of it.

Liz + Andi

I have worked with Liz photographing her corporate events for the last few years, so I was very, very touched when she asked me to document an event that was so much more meaningful and personal. Liz is one of those humans who is so completely unflappable at times of crisis, that untimely rain forcing a last minute move from a dreamy outdoor ceremony at the Crag Rat Hut overlooking the Hood River an indoor ceremony overlooking the back porch...ultimately left both she and Andi completely unfazed. Because at the end of the day, surrounded by a community of friends and family almost equally devoted to the two of them as they are to each other, they were each married to their best friend and life's love. They both pour so much of themselves into helping others in their professional lives, it was incredibly touching to see them on the receiving end on this day.

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Playing the catch up game on this blog of mine and I can think of no better place to start. I photographed her ma and pa's a-mazing wedding at ClarkLewis a few years back and Simone is the stunning and soulful result of that union. As you can see, poor Pedey, their first {dog} child, is suffering immensely under this new hierarchy.

Elizabeth + Faride

Love, kids, chickens and sprinklers...oh my!

Once upon a time, the sun was shining on one of those summer days you just never want to end, and two of the most beautiful souls joined hands with their two daughters and said 'I do' at Sellwood's historic Oaks Pioneer Church. And then Sellwood Flower Co and Crown Pealla went and put ice cream on this magical wedding pie.  It was a true honor to bear witness and document not just this legally binding moment, but more importantly, the community of love that surrounded and celebrated them that day.

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Photographer. Dragonboat rower. Co-Pilot for her pop. Possibly Canada bound. She is a Renaissance girl through and through and the world is indeed an open book yet to be written for her.


It's been far too long since I've shared work that is ever present and ever fulfilling.  But that's a post for another time.

For now I give you India. Creative. Singer. Musician. And about to launch so confidently and beautifully into this big, big world with the endearing love of her equally beautiful tribe of people. As we toured the neighborhood in search of light, textures and color, she was approached by a man who picked up on what we were up to, and offered words of encouragement that could not have been more well timed "You just be you.  You do you."

I think we can all be reminded of that every once in a while.

Rieke Portrait project

The last few months of the school year, I had the amazing fortune of documenting several kindergarten families on behalf of Rieke Elementary as part of the Rieke Portrait Project, a fifth grade legacy gift to the school celebrating the partnership between the fifth graders and their kindergarten buddies. In addition to these family portraits that captured the places and people who are important to the kids outside of school, the fifth graders interviewed the kinders about the first year of their Rieke experience, as well as each of the parents about their hopes for their kids. 

I'm immensely grateful for the time, personal spaces and stories these families were willing to share with me, particularly at this incredible leaping off point in each of their kid's lives. 

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Amber + Isaac

It's difficult to even know where to begin putting words to this wedding. Or find a word in any language that expresses my gratitude for being asked to document it. Or to edit 3,000 images down into a succinct story of this incredible week.

I worked with Amber in another lifetime and we'd had the fortune of traveling together on several occasions. One trip in particular included a weekend spent stranded rooftop poolside in Ho Chi Minh City, and not for lack of interest in exploring the city, but for fear of being shanghaied by our "handlers" into spending precious free time crawling through suffocating cu chi tunnels and shooting off relic AK-47s.

We stayed connected over the last few years through the regular channels of modern media and the occasional happy hour.  But a mid-winter late night message from her asking if I would be willing and able to photograph her March....left me speechless. And as a testament to these two incredibly beautiful humans and their intensely loyal community of family and friends, an intimate gathering of 25 promptly made arrangements to spend a week celebrating who they are as individuals, (kind, generous, loyal, adventurous, smokin' hot) and their future together (all of those things as individuals x2).

The festivities and wedding all took place on the North Shore of Oahu at the Turtle Bay Resort, an epic destination in and of itself. And as if stand-up paddleboarding (SUP for those in the know) and surf lessons and golf and gourmet bbq's wasn't enough, their beachside wedding was one that has taken up residence deep in my heart, as beautiful and touching as it was both in it's simplicity and in the amount of love felt and expressed. They are certainly not alone in their journey.

To Amber + Isaac. Mahalo...Thank you. For this gift you have given me. And for giving my heart someplace to land after the last eight months of my own life's path. I have immense faith in the two of you and the amazing potential of your future together. Me ke aloha.  With so much love. Andrea