Friday, October 20, 2006


Bruce and Heidi are friends from college. Both are talented artists. Bruce is a graphic designer, illustrator, furniture designer/builder. Heidi is a painter, sculptor, assemblage artist. Check out their websites (click on their names above) to see some of their work.

I had the opportunity to photograph their son, Silas, again this summer. It was inspiring to photograph Silas in their new home where art is such an integral part of the space.

Frames for your little Michelangelo

Ethan makes a lot of art these days. I have wanted to display some of it in a more formal way (than just stuck to the fridge), but also wanted to be able to easily update the display with his latest masterpiece. Here is a great solution from the latest issue of ReadyMade magazine. Tacking the art onto small cork boards makes it easy to update with the latest painting (or photograph of the painter), while maintaining the look of framed art.

If you're not familiar with ReadyMade, check it out. In their words, "ReadyMade is a magazine [and a blog] for people who like to make stuff, who see the flicker of invention in everyday objects -- the perfectly round yolk in the mundane egg." They have lots of fun, do-it-yourself ideas. Pick up a copy of the latest issue to see how to make these cool corkboard frames.

Friday, September 15, 2006


I recently had the opportunity to photograph one week old Micah. What an honor to document those tiny parts and capture some early moments of this new little family.

Monday, August 21, 2006

September 2006 in Portland, Oregon

I have one more trip this year to Portland for child/family portraits and portrait parties from September 24 through October 1. The schedule is filling up quickly. If you would like to book a session contact us soon. This is the last opportunity of the year for those in Oregon to get portraits for holiday cards and gifts.

Contact us to learn more about our session options (or click the link).

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Travel Tips: Create a Vacation Scrapbook

In case you missed the first Travel Tips post, my family is taking four long road trips this year and I wanted to share what we have learned about traveling with children. Feel free to contribute your tips in the comments.

Creating a vacation scrapbook can be a great way to preserve memories and pass the time during a long trip. Encourage your children to collect mementoes like ticket stubs, postcards and brochures during your trip. Be sure to bring a small scrapbook or notebook, pens, scissors and a glue stick or tape for the children to assemble their scrapbook on the way to the next stop or during down time at the hotel. In addition to mementos, have them draw pictures, write poems and stories or simply lists of the things they see and do. Leave blank pages to include photographs later.

Instead of having each child create their own scrapbook, try having each child create one or more pages about the trip and put them all together in a family scrapbook. You will be able to see the trip through each persons unique perspective.

A postcard travel journal is a simple variation on the vacation scrapbook. I don't remember where I read about this idea, but it is a great one for children or adults. (I did it myself a few years ago on our trip to Russia.) Buy a postcard at every stop and/or one for every day of your stay (try to find postcards with pictures of things you will be seeing on your trip). Journal about the events of the day on the back. If a post office or mail drop is easily accessible, mail the postcard home each day. The postcard will be postmarked so you will know when and from where you sent it. When you arrive home you will have a complete journal of your trip, including photographs of where you have been. This can be especially fun for international travel because of the unique postage stamps and postmarks. Even if you don't mail the cards, this is an easy and inexpensive way to create a unique scrapbook of a family trip.

What are your families favorite ways to document the trip? Share them in the comments.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Travel Tips: Involving the Kids

On our road trips this year, we have gone over our plans for the day with Ethan every morning, so he knows what to expect, and included fun stops along the way to break up the monotony.

Children love routine and predictability. Discussing the plan for each day at the beginning of the day can help them know what they can expect and deal with the change in their normal routine and environment.

One way to make this more tangible is to get a map or Trip Tik and talk about the route you plan to take and any stops you will make.

Include older children in the planning and the progress. During the trip assign one child to be the navigator, providing him with maps and a compass. Assign another to keep track of expenses, equipping her with a notebook, pencil and calculator. Even if they are too young to understand these tasks, children love to pretend and imitate adults.

Whenever possible, give your children choices. Children like to have control of their lives and make their own choices. When you take them out of their routine and familiar environment and sit them in a car for hours on end, it can help tremendously to offer choices. You do not have to provide a lot of options, just two is enough. For example: grapes or carrots; read a book or play a game; do you want to sit by the window before lunch or after lunch and so on.

What are your favorite ways to involve the kids? Share them in the comments.

Gymboree Lake Oswego

It's Gymboree Play + Music time again. I will be photographing during most of the classes at the Gymboree in Lake Oswego, Oregon during the week of July 31 - August 5. Get more details here. If you've never attended a Gymboree class before, I encourage you to try it out. You can attend a free preview, just contact the Lake Oswego Gymboree for information and available classes.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Photo Tip: Capturing Fleeting Moments

Anticipating the action and pre-focusing (at the bottom of the slide, for example) can help you capture the excitement at the end of the ride.

One of the most common complaints I hear about digital cameras is that it is impossible to photograph children because of the delay from when the shutter button is pushed to when the camera actually records the picture. This delay is called shutter lag and can be maddening when trying to photograph children (or other fast moving subjects). I had to use an old digital point-and-shoot camera on our recent trip to San Francisco and got lots of shots of the back of Ethan's head and Ethan walking out of the picture (I was so frustrated I bought a new one as soon as we got home).

Here are a few suggestions to help reduce shutter lag:

Turn your camera on before you need it.

Pre-focus: Press the shutter button half way down and hold (this allows the camera to focus, but does not take the picture). Wait for the right moment then push the shutter button the rest of the way down. Note: if the subject has moved closer to or further from the camera, you may have to refocus.

Anticipate the action: Try to anticipate where your moving subject will be when you want to take a picture. Pre-focus on that area and be ready to push the shutter (press a little sooner than usual). If you want your child to be looking at the camera, position yourself in front of her, pre-focus, then get her attention and press the shutter button. If you let your subjects know when you're going to take the photo by counting down from three, press the shutter on "one" and keep counting to three.

Better yet, don't worry about posing, smiling or looking at the camera, just capture your child doing her thing.

Get a faster memory card: Your camera may not take advantage of the fastest memory cards available, but slower cards can definitely slow down the recording of your pictures, increasing the amount of time before you can take another picture.

Turn off the display: Instead of using the display on the back of the camera to compose and review your pictures use the optical viewfinder and edit your pictures later on your computer. The camera will be a bit faster since it does not have to recreate the picture on the display and you will conserve the battery allowing you to take more pictures.

Charge (or replace) the batteries: Cameras need power to reset the sensor, focus on the subject and record the picture. Batteries that are low can slow down the process. Batteries can go bad after years of use. If yours isn't holding a charge for very long, it may be time to buy a new one.

Upgrade: There is only so much that these tips can do to decrease shutter lag. If you have an old digital camera, it may be time upgrade. Digital cameras have gotten much faster over the last couple years. Need help choosing a new camera, check out our list of camera review sites. These sites can help you choose the right camera for your budget and needs.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Travel Tips: Travel Tunes

Ethan singing at the bowl. Whether in the car or at a stop along the way, music is an important part of our travels.

Our family loves music. We love listening, singing, playing instruments and dancing. So naturally music is a huge part of our road trips. Our recent favorites are by Laurie Berkner. Laurie's songs are fun, interactive and adult-friendly! Parent participation and "choreography" got Ethan excited, involved and distracted from the hours of sitting still.

A few other things that made our music experience great:

We filled up an mp3 player with all of Ethan's favorites, (you could also burn custom CDs) so that he could request a song and we could deliver. We included lots of new songs to keep things interesting.

We included a block of sleepy songs to help encourage napping.

Sometimes we listened to music that wasn't created exclusively for kids.

We made a car guitar (a small box with rubber bands stretched across) so that Ethan could play along. Tip: create other instruments - a shaker out of one of the snack containers filled with peanuts (or other snacks) and a horn out of a toilet paper tube. Personalize them with drawings or stickers. Trade instruments after each song.

We took a few audio books. Some stories Ethan was familiar with and a couple were new. We had the actual book to look at with one story, but the rest he just listened to and used his imagination. I was surprised at what a big hit they were. Download stories for free from Project Gutenberg, download audio books at or get tapes and CDs at your local library.

More Favorite Travel Tunes:
Sesame Street Platinum: All-Time Favorites
They Might Be Giants - No! (and many other songs off various TMBG albums)
VeggieTales - If you like to talk to tomatoes, if a squash can make you smile
Parachute Express - If you've ever gone to Gymboree you know their songs. If not, check them out
Putumayo - World music collections for all ages

What are your favorite travel tunes? The first four people to enter their favorites in the comments will receive three of our favorite Laurie Berkner songs FREE via iTunes. Be sure to identify yourself in the comments so we know where to send the songs.

Don't think your thirteen year old will appreciate "I've got a song in my tummy?" Let us know and we'll send a gift certificate so you may choose the three songs.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Travel Tips: Snacks

The travel snack of astronauts!

My favorite travel snacks as a kid were Space Food Sticks and Easy Cheese (that's right, cheese in a can). We still bring Easy Cheese on trips - it's great for creating edible art on a cracker (if you're the type that considers cheese from a can edible). We also bring along healthier options like grapes, carrots and celery, dried fruit and nuts Trader Joe's has lots of tasty and healthy snacks).

Rather than filling our car with lots of big boxes and bags of food, Judy filled Ziploc snack bags and small sealable containers with our favorite snack foods, then put a variety into sealed 1 gallon Ziploc bags. This kept the food fresh and allowed us to have a lot a variety without taking up a lot of space. The size was perfect for Ethan and just enough for us, but you could use larger containers for older kids. We put one 1 gallon bag in the glove box and the rest in the trunk. Whenever we ran out or needed some variety we got a new bag from the trunk.

What are/were some of your favorite snacks? Share them in the comments. The first three people to post will receive one package of their favorite snack, FREE. (Snack must be $5 or less. In the event that we cannot locate the snack, we will provide a similar item.)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Travel Tips: Planning Ahead

When we were planning our road trip from Southern California to Washington, we fondly reflected on road trips from our past, but also feared endless hours of crying and screaming from our 2 1/2 year old Ethan. That fear motivated us to plan ahead. In the process we found several great travel planning sites that helped us think through all aspects of the trip, from car activities to snacks to good places to take a break. Here are a few of the sites we found useful: - activities, games and trips for traveling with kids. - internet store specializing in travel products for kids - their best feature is that the activities are categorized by age. They also have an articles section with lots of great tips. - AAA members can easily create a multiple day itinerary online using Trip Tik (under "Travel by Car"). Get detailed maps with stops along the way including hotels, gas, restaurants and more. If you are planning far enough in advance, you can request a bound copy. - online itinerary planning, like AAA Trip Tik - find authentic local restaurants and avoid generic fast food and chains while traveling - online guides for larger cities
City Websites Search google for your destination city or for cities along the way to find a list of parks (many city websites have pictures of the parks as well as info about bathrooms, playgrounds, etc.)
Mom's/Parent's (i.e. MOMS Club) group websites. They can give you a locals view of kid-friendly parks and activities. While planning a trip to San Francisco we came across a great site that had detailed pictures and information of all of the parks in the city.

Share your favorite family travel resources in the comments below. The first person who comments will receive a free ticket to the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. Be sure to identify yourself in the comments so we know where to send the ticket.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Road Trip

We recently went on our second big road trip as a little family, the first since Ethan (2 1/2 years old) could protest sitting in the car for hours, using actual words. In all we spent six days on the road for seven or more hours each day and had a surprisingly good time.

With summer vacations rapidly approaching, I thought it would be fun to dedicate the next few blog entries to traveling with kids. Each entry will focus on a specific topic - travel tunes, snacks, activities, destinations - and you can share your favorite tips by leaving a comment under the blog entry.

Ethan looking for some fun with his homemade binoculars.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Creating Family Ties

Traditions are a important part of family identity. Growing up, my family shared many traditions, from salt in the sugar bowl on April Fool's Day to our annual midnight party on Christmas Eve. It has been exciting to share some of these traditions with my wife and son, as well as establish new traditions of our own.

Last year, Judy started attending a monthly gathering hosted by Dana Moler of Once Upon a Family (a company devoted to helping families create traditions and stay connected), during which Dana and the other mom's share ideas on how to create lasting family ties.

On Saturday, May 27 Judy is hosting a Once Upon a Family celebration at our home and you are invited. Dana will be there to inspire you with several great ways to strengthen family ties. To learn more you can go to Once Upon a Family.

For directions and to RSVP contact Judy at

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Westerly Art Show

This Spring, I have had the privilege of assisting the Westerly School 5th grade class with an abstract photography project. In abstract photography the goal is to photograph objects in the natural world in such a way that they are reduced to pure shape, color, pattern, line, and/or texture. The challenge is to make these photographs visually or conceptually interesting.

The student's work will be on display in the Education building at Cal State Long Beach. The opening is June 1st at 6:00 pm. We would love to see you there. Call or e-mail me for more details.

One piece from each student will also be on display in the cafe at the Long Beach Museum of Art beginning in the middle of the May. The work will be displayed in a grid of 20 11x14 prints. It is stunning to see (see a small sample below). Cafe hours are Tuesday - Friday 11 am to 3 pm, Saturday & Sunday 8 am to 5 pm. Every Friday the Museum is FREE and features artmaking activities for all ages. For more information go to the Museum's web page.

It has been inspiring working with teachers, Susan Story and Emily Chandler, and the students of Westerly. A special thank you to Nancy and Byron Pinckert for their support.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Gymboree Cedar Hills Promotion

I will be working at Gymboree in Cedar Hills, Oregon during the week of May 8 - 13. If you have children that are 5 or under (and are not already enrolled) I encourage to take advantage of a great promotion they are offering.

Sign up for any play, music, arts, or Global Kids class during the week of May 8. During class, I will capture candid, black-and-white portraits of your child at play! Go back for a second class, May 30 - June 5 and view the proofs that are hung all around the center. The two classes are just $26.00 and there's no obligation to purchase portraits. Call 503-670-1683 for available class times and to make reservations.

I hope to see you there!

Gymboree Play and Music
Cedar Hills Shopping Center
10136 SW Park Way, Portland, OR

Click the images above to find out more about my work at Gymboree.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Ethan on Easter

People often ask to see pictures of my son, Ethan. I love to brag as much as the next dad, but I am terrible about carrying pictures with me or posting them online, so I am putting a few up here of Ethan in his cool new retro duds.

2006 Travel Schedule

We are based in Long Beach, California, but travel regularly to the Northwest for portrait sessions. This year we have added a few days on the Oregon Coast and in San Francisco. I have always loved the ocean and large cities - Cannon Beach and San Francisco are two of my favorite places. If you (or someone you know) are interested in a portrait session in any of these locations, let us know.

May 8 - May 13: Gymboree Cedar Hills, Oregon
June 26 - June 28: San Francisco, California
July 20- July 23: Cannon Beach/Seaside, Oregon
July 24 -July 29: Portland, Oregon
July 27: Olympia, Washington
July 31 - Aug 5: Gymboree Lake Oswego, Oregon
Sept 24 - Oct 1: Portland, Oregon

Monday, April 17, 2006


If you haven't been to our Products pages in a while, check them out. We've recently added Gina Alexander handbags to our line of products. These were a big hit with everyone that saw them at our recent open house.


See them for yourself by clicking the picture above.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Welcome to our blog!

We have wanted to add a blog/news page to our website for the longest time, and are really excited to finally get this online. Check back often for the latest announcements, pictures, stories and more.