It’s time for fall photo sessions! I’ve been busy creating a fun fall theme for the kiddos that will also lend itself to getting some beautiful portraits. We begin the session photographing children in front of a white wall with simple props that will be suitable for creating classic wall art to hang in your home.
After getting the classic images, children will be invited to play in the red wagon and the John Deere tractor. While shopping for John Deere toys to enhance the fall theme I found the large tractor at Target. What child can resist a ride on a tractor? And, thanks to my mother, we now own it! We will load the wagon and trailer with pumpkins and siblings to create memorable photos. The kids will look adorable in their overalls and plaid shirts!
Radio Flyer Wagon with Fall Pumpkins
Adorable John Deere Tractor with Pumpkins
Teddy Bear and Red Wagon
Teddy Bear on a John Deere Tractor
Photos can be beautifully edited as is, or families may choose from several backgrounds that are perfect for the classic images and the wagon or tractor. All of the images will have ground cover with fall leaves.
Gray Weathered Fence Background
Rustic Wood Photo Background
Worn Red Barn Walls
Rustic Wood with Peeling White Paint
Gray Weathered Barn Doors
The children’s photo studio is set up for kids to have a fun experience. Toys appropriate to the theme are available to play with while listening to music that makes children feel comfortable.
More of my work with children can be seen on the photography page and the fall page. Fall sessions may be scheduled in September through early October. Families can contact me for more information and to schedule a photo session at 971-506-8911.
Last week the garage was converted into a photo studio. I’ve always wanted to do this but couldn’t in my Portland home since the gym was used for the preschool. Having to share space with the preschool meant needing to set up and take down equipment for each photo session. We cleaned out the garage, hung some curtains to hide the storage area, and painted the wall white. There are still some things to do, but at least the space is now usable. I love that we can hang items from the ceiling. We couldn’t do that in the preschool gym since the ceilings were too high.
Fall Photo Session
Aren’t they Adorable?
Photo Studio from the Parent’s View
After converting the garage, we decided to do an autumn portrait session with Tessa. We gathered a few fall items and had some fun with our new set-up!
I recently completed Sandra Coan’s strobes class and would like to try out the skills with some child models. More info about my work with children can be found here.
W and R left for school last week, and B went this week. We’ll miss having them at preschool, but I’m sure they’re ready for the next adventures waiting for them. Although, since W’s sister is still in preschool, we might get to see her occasionally. Before leaving for Kindergarten the girls had a final photo session and a Peter Rabbit party.
Here are some snapshots of the party.
Ready for a Party
Party Table for B
Peter Rabbit Party Tables
Serving Table with Peter Rabbit
Peter Rabbit Serving Table
Their final photo session.
In the Tree
W All Grown Up
Morning Photo Session with W
W Ready to Conquer the World
Wow! Just too Grown Up
Umbrella Photo Session
Off to Kindergarten
B in the Tree
All the teachers wish the girls the best of luck in their educational journey!
Everything!!! I’m a member of Campendium, a site where parks are reviewed and rated on a 1-5 star basis. My goal is to eventually go full-time RVing, and I’ve found their site to be quite helpful. A few posts back I lamented that my beach house doesn’t fit into the tent section at Millersylvania State Park. Lower Falls Campground is the answer! The campground has everything I could have asked for! Well, except for a lake to go kayaking on, but I’ll take this park any day. It is a gorgeous, green, lush campground that RVs can fit into. The sites are huge and spaced far apart giving families the privacy they seek in a camping experience. Campers actually feel like they’re out in the woods. Children have plenty of space to play and won’t be quite as tempted to cross into other’s sites. The trails are easily accessible from the campground and hikers can be down at the river to view the beautiful waterfalls in a short time.
National Forest Map
The Beach House
The Beach House and Tow Vehicle
Site 22 Driveway
Cooking over the Fire
Lower Falls Campground
Campsite at Lower Falls
Lower Falls Campsite
Lower Falls Campsite
Campground Loop Road
The campground was easy to drive to, however, the National Forest Service website does warn that it might be difficult for trailers to get through a short section of gravel road and that you drive at your own risk. I called the forest service the day before to confirm the warning was still in effect and to determine whether or not we should go. The lady I spoke to said it should be okay if we drive slow. The mile long section of road is passible, but slow going is definitely the key. Fortunately I drove it very late at night and couldn’t see what I was driving over. It didn’t look so bad then! Driving out I put the truck in 4 wheel drive; probably didn’t need it, but it made me feel better. The other obstacle while towing a trailer is dodging the overgrown trees, even on the paved roads. I hit a few branches on the way in, but didn’t damage anything. On the way out I drove down the center of the road as much as possible to avoid them.
The road doesn’t look so bad in the video, but Amber’s having a difficult time holding the camera still due to the road conditions.
Trails & Waterfalls
Sign at the Trailhead
Lower Falls River Access Trail
Lewis River Lower Falls Trail
Stairs on the Lower Falls Trail
Lower Lewis Falls
Lewis River Lower Falls Trail
Red Warning Sign
Lower Lewis Falls Trail
Falls Viewing Point
On the Trail
Lower Lewis River Falls
The crown jewels of this park are the waterfalls! They are photographic heaven!! The only thing I didn’t bring were the right shoes to stand in the middle of the river to photograph the lower falls. It wasn’t possible to stand in the river at the middle falls, and I didn’t see a way, other than swimming, to get across the river to put myself at a better angle for those images. There must be some other way across, but that will have to wait for another day. Most of the trails we hiked were easily accessible with great views of the falls and several points to stop and enjoy the surrounding areas.
I’ve been wanting to get out and practice using the neutral density filters more so decided to visit Butte Creek Falls. Last year I purchased “Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon” written by Adam Sawyer at Costco. It’s a great reference for finding falls within a reasonable distance for a day outing. We checked the directions and other information in the book against some internet sites. Obviously some directions were better than others, but it was easy to find and we were able to drive directly to the falls. The last 4 to 5 miles is a gravel/washboard road, however most vehicles will make it just fine. The washboard is fairly minor compared to others I’ve experienced. There is a section of one lane road that feels more perilous than it actually is from the driver’s perspective as it winds around and overlooks the hill.
The Trail and Falls
The hike is on a beautiful .9 mile, easy loop trail, with a couple hills, and the lush green foliage and shade were much appreciated on a hot July day. The straight part of the trail leads to the lower falls, but we weren’t able to get to its base. We saw some people go down the side of the rocky hill to get there, but we chose not to do that with our camera equipment. Another family came along and opted not to go down as well. Those who are more adventurous have the falls and pool all to themselves!
Then we took the loop trail to the upper falls which were easily accessible, and several families were playing in the water. It wasn’t as crowded as other falls tend to be, and we were able to get the photos we wanted. On the way out of the loop trail I saw another view of the upper falls I didn’t see going in. I’ll have to go back and photograph it with the neutral density filter.
Butte Creek Upper Falls
Butte Creek Falls Trail in July
Log Bridge on Butte Creek Falls Trail
Rock Steps in the Trail
Butte Creek Upper Falls from the Trail
Visiting Butte Creek Falls is well worth the scenic drive through farm country and the gravel roads. It’s about an hour from Portland depending on your starting point. On the way out we stopped at a farm stand and purchased fresh picked blackberries and strawberries and then finished our day with strawberry shortcake for desert!
We’ve been on vacation for a couple weeks and didn’t have access to internet for much of that time, so I haven’t posted in a while. I’ll begin with our weekend in Irrigon and follow up with some posts about our California trip.
Boondocking on Farmland
We experienced the most awesome weekend in Irrigon visiting with my cousin Laurie and her family! Irrigon, as with most of the surrounding area, is largely farmland, and the beach house was parked just outside Laurie’s property with a view of horses out our front door. Country noises of farm animals and frogs were a welcome change to the city’s sirens and constant traffic. I think we saw only a couple cars drive by the entire weekend! What more could anyone ask for in a boondocking spot?
Hiking at Hat Rock State Park
Boondocking in Irrigon, OR
Shadow of Truck and Trailer
Info about Lewis and Clark
Hat Rock in Oregon
The main purpose of our excursion was to deliver a Nikon D7000 that I helped Laurie purchase for her daughter’s birthday. We did two photo shoots with Tresa’s six beautiful children who were absolutely a joy to work with! The morning shoot was done at Hat Rock State Park. The sunlight was beautiful, and we were able to get some great photos of the kids in tall grass, in the trees and on some logs. The kids also wanted to take photos on a bridge that worked out perfectly. After a potluck dinner we took the kids to a beach near a wildlife refuge for a sunset photo shoot. We captured some 4th of July photos as well as shots of the kids playing in the water. Unfortunately, the filter on my lens had marks on it and resulted in sun spots on many of the photos. I’ll have to go back and do that photo shoot again.
Kids at Sunset on the Columbia River
A at Hat Rock State Park
Sisters at Hat Rock State Park
Siblings at Hat Rock State Park
Sisters at Hat Rock State Park
Photographing the Kids
R in the Grass
Kayaking on the Columbia River
The plan for Sunday was to go kayaking, and I let Laurie know that since our kayaks are inflatables, I prefer to kayak on calm water such as lakes and ponds. Tresa suggested Warehouse Beach, so off we went to Wallula Lake. Little did we know that this “lake” is part of the Columbia River! It doesn’t actually meet the formal definition, but resembles more of an inlet or bay. At that point I couldn’t back out so went for it. The lake’s configuration resulted in rougher waters with waves that crashed over the top of my kayak before I was able to get myself or the dog in. Amber, on the other hand managed to stay dry getting into her kayak. And then Laurie in all her cousinly love thought to catch my plight on her phone and post to Facebook! Oh well, it was fun and the water with the cool breeze felt wonderful in the 100 degree weather.
Amber Kayaking on the Columbia River
Cocker Spaniel enjoying the Water
Kayaking on the Columbia River
I had not previously kayaked or done anything else on the Columbia River, but it was very peaceful and the serenity of the river and birds was much appreciated. I like to imagine people’s lives in earlier times and could see Lewis and Clark paddling down the Columbia to the Pacific Ocean. I’m sure it was much rougher and more challenging when they made the journey. While I was hesitant to take an inflatable kayak onto the river, I would highly recommend paddling on the Columbia if you have the opportunity.
This year Amber and I decided to go camping at a park we had never been to for Memorial Day weekend and ultimately chose Tugman State Park. Reservations were made in January, but neither of us can remember why we chose this park, except that it has a lake and maybe we thought we would go kayaking there. I believed the campground was near the beach; it’s not. Driving is necessary if a beach outing is in the plans. In any case the park is very small and was quiet. It was easy backing the 5th wheel into our very spacious site. And as with all Oregon State parks, the campground is clean and well maintained. The only drawback is the proximity to highway 101. However, it wasn’t too bad as most of the time we blocked out the noise.
We had a wonderful weekend exploring Coos Bay and the surrounding areas in more depth than we have in the past when we only had time to make short stops on our way to other destinations.
Thursday I decided to use only the Lensbaby Composer Pro with the Sweet 35 optic. I’ve had the lens for a few years, but was frustrated with it so never used it much. I watched a couple videos before going camping and decided it was time to figure it out. Actually I came away with some great images. I took photos at Shore Acres State Park and Sunset Beach as well as the one above of the sailboats at Winchester Bay. Next time I get to take sailboat photos I’ll try a smaller aperture.
Sea Lions at Simpson Reef on the Oregon Coast
Sea Lions at Simpson Reef on the Oregon Coast.
Sea Lions at Simpson Reef on the Oregon Coast
I visited Simpson Reef on Friday, but the weather was overcast and the sea lions weren’t visible. Amber and I went back the next day and were able to observe hundreds or thousands of them. They are a ways back, so binoculars are needed. Last summer before visiting the Tetons I bought Zeiss Terra ED 10 x 42 binoculars at Cabela’s. Those were greatly appreciated many times and were perfect for watching the sea lions as well. While in the Tetons I realized I didn’t have the right lens to get photos of the wildlife, and I was drooling over the lenses I saw other visitors using. One very nice gentleman from England let me hold and try out his long lens. When I arrived home I did some research and found some affordable consumer zoom lenses. It didn’t take me long to purchase the Sigma 150-600mm lens! The lens is perfect for catching sea lions! I believe Nikon, Canon and Tamron also make this or a similar lens.
As I was zooming in to edit the third photo I noticed one of the sea lions was branded with a number. So I did some research and found that some animals are being branded to be studied and eventually to prevent some of them from consuming the salmon that are swimming upstream. You can read more about this at OPB and at The Spokesman Review.
Dean Creek Sign
Hinsdale Interpretive Center Sign
Closeup of Elk Facial Profile
Elk Interpretive Sign
Elk at the Dean Creek Viewing Area
Lush Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area
When I went to pick up Amber on Friday afternoon hundreds of elk were grazing at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area! Another opportunity to practice using my 150-600mm lens! The elk were just gorgeous in the setting sun. The Hinsdale Interpretive Center is also located at the viewing area and provides several educational plaques about the elk and other wildlife in the area.
Fishermen’s Seafood Market in Coos Bay
Fish & Chips Lunch on the Coos Bay Boardwalk
The Koos No 2 Tugboat in Coos Bay
Koos No 2 Sign
Sailboats in Coos Bay, Oregon
Amber and I spent a morning exploring Coos Bay. While there we shopped in antique stores looking for items that could be used in a cupcakes and cookies photo shoot we want to do with the children at Little Pandas Playschool. We found a cute hand cranked beater for mixing whipped cream and cake batters. I’m pretty sure my grandmother owned these when I was growing up. Then one of the stores was selling the same desk used at my first elementary school. I had to keep reminding Amber that if the store was selling something I’ve used in my lifetime, it’s not an antique! It might be vintage, but certainly not antique.
We ate butter clams and fish for lunch, from the Fisherman’s Seafood Market, on the boardwalk. I highly recommend stopping in for a meal. After lunch we explored the tugboat display on the boardwalk and took pictures of the sailboats captured with my favorite lens; the Sigma 35 Art.
Over the weekend Amber and I also visited Shore Acres State Park, Sunset Beach, the Umpqua Lighthouse and the beach near Heceta Head Lighthouse. However, those images will have to wait for another post.