Outdoor Rafting Themed Wedding on The Rogue River

This fun and gorgeous wedding took place in April on a Thursday at the brides fathers home on the Rogue River here in Grants Pass, Oregon. For those of you familiar with Oregon you know an April wedding can be a bit of a rain risk. I bit my nails for months ahead of it but when the week came it was one of the warmest most beautiful weeks I can remember in an April. 

TJ and Emily were surrounded by some of the most wonderful family and friends on this special day. They were up early the next to raft downriver with their friends for several days to celebrate. I could not think of anything more fun or adventurous!

Special thanks goes to many wonderful people who came together on this day and here are just a few~

Loving these shots from the best day ever đź’ś

Flowers designed by Deanna Mulasky and sourced from Fry Family Farm/La Mera Gardens

My hair & makeup by Amanda Gabbard 

TJ’s hair & beard by Rogue Barbers

Food by MaMosa's

Special thanks to my friend and fellow photographer for assisting and second shooting Kelcie Jean Photography.

 

 

 

Oregon Bohemian Wedding

This wedding was absolutely one of the most charming wedding days of my Summer. Joe and Karli with the name of The Lewis and Clark Wedding came into my life full of smiles and joy and unique genuine personalities that immediately captured my heart. Scroll to the end to read Joe and Karli's story and the details of their special day~

So many creative details throughout it all and they can be seen as well here published on an international bohemian wedding blog called Boho Weddings! 

Our Story

Joe and I met while attending college at Western Oregon University. It was a time in which neither of us was interested in a relationship but after a week of trekking around Moab with the Natural Science club (of which Joe was the president hehe). We found the chemistry and compatibility too strong to ignore. Our partnership grew over countless bow hunting and backpacking trips where we pushed ourselves to new limits spending weeks in our beloved Eagle cap wilderness, harvesting mushrooms, deer, elk, berries, and exploring new basins and sacred spots known only to us.

One day in 2014 after a long and monotonous work week I came home and announced that I had planned to hike the 2,660 mile Pacific Crest trail, reaching from the Mexico to Canada border. Without a bat of the eye or any element of surprise Joe replied “lets do it!” Together and now equipped with a new set of adventure dreadlocks and our one man tent we made the entire length of the trip in 4.5 months. If there were ever a better test to see if you are compatible with someone; 25 miles a day and only one shower a week will do it.

Fast forward 3 years after a rainy hunting trip Joe popped the question at a hotsprings in La Grande Oregon. I was stunned as he pulled the most beautiful and unique locally made (and from my hometown to boot!) ring that encompassed all the most important elements to us. A citrine sun signifying Fire, engraved waves for the water, a mountain for the earth aspect, and finally air, portrayed by the blowing wind.

Our adventures as husband and wife continue as we just recently moved into a RV full time in order to travel for Joe’s work. We split our year between the Northern Oregon Coast and the beautiful mountains and blue sky of Eastern Oregon running, hiking, foraging and playing with our pup Indi.

 

 

The Details

Bride

Dress- BHDL (http://www.bhldn.com/stores-portland/)

Shoes- Toms (http://www.toms.com/)

Earrings- Red Geode Halves moonstone by KristynRenne Jewelry (https://www.etsy.com/shop/KristynReneeJewelry)

Hairpieces- Gold vines by SarasBoutique Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/SarasBoutique)

Ring- David and Sabine (http://www.davidandsabine.com/)

Boquet- Becca Atley (http://branchesandvine.com/)

Hair and makeup- Alyssa Underwood (http://www.alyssaunderwoodartistry.com/) (https://www.instagram.com/underwoodmakeup/)

Tattoos- Flash tattoos (http://www.flashtat.com/)

Bridesmades dresses- Lulus https://www.lulus.com/

 

Groom and Groomsmen

Shirts: Macys INC brand

Leather suspenders- Heysir Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/HeySir)

Pants- Prana stretch Zion (http://www.prana.com/)

Shoes- Clarks (http://www.clarksusa.com/us/)

Boutonnieres- Hand assembled by the mother of the bride feathers are from the brides great grandfathers fly tieing collection.

Ring- Mountian Lake Irinis world Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/IrinisWorld)

 

Vendors and other elements

Personalized Mountian Beer steins- Alex Appland Pottery (http://alexapland.com/)

Personalized “lewis and Clark” essential oil bug spray- Growing Wise (http://www.growingwise.biz/)

Guest Book- Kate Burkow leather (https://www.etsy.com/shop/KateBrunkowLeather)

Food- Mama Mia Woodfired Pizza (http://www.mammamiagelateria.com/)

Dessert- Dropout cookies (https://www.facebook.com/dropoutcookie/)

Cake- Ambrossia Bakery (https://ambrosianaturalbakery.com/)

Arbor and Benches- Handmilled and stained by the groom and family friends from timber on the venue property. Antler accents Elk courtesy the groom.

Table designs- Bride’s personal home treasures

Venue- Private Residence on the Rogue River in Grants Pass Oregon

Bounce House- Big Air (http://bigairjumphouses.com/)

Custom Signs- (https://www.facebook.com/emmyandbo/)

 

Oregon Ginger + Peach Inspired Portraits With Madison

This session is a three part series of women portraits with ginger girl tones. I LOVED my time with Madison! She is always so sweet, beautiful and goes along with my random ideas and long random talks. I can only hope my little one ends up like this gorgeous girl someday. 

I changed the plan a bit on these always trying to keep things a bit original. Sometimes that means taking a drive for a restart until I see just the right thing ~ which in this case I did! We wandered some local areas here in Southern Oregon for the evening at last light on a great Spring day. These are edited with my new Elysian Presets I am working on with natural tones and pops of color. 

Enjoy~

The rose gold necklace featured: Chloe Christine Jewelry

Model Instagram: @madisonelisee

 

My Personal Journey Into Photography and Sparrow Clubs

This was a speech I wrote for Sparrow Clubs given last Friday at the Wings of Hope luncheon. It is a bit more lengthy here and not as condensed. I first want to say thank you to my mom and friends for filling mine and her tables and to the wonderful faces of friends throughout the room Friday. Whether you came for me or the club or a family you know or for all it meant so very much. For those of you who were not able to attend or who would like a bit of a good read on my personal life journey into photography (which I often get asked the question "how did you start") this is it! Its a bit sad in parts and not really a fancy tale but it is mine. If you read to the end there is a gallery of some of the amazing families and children I have been so blessed to work with. I would also like to say I am SO grateful to my husband who when I met him I proudly told from day one "I am a photographer!" And he believed me - every step of the way~

Hello~

All week I have been experiencing "speechmares" haha! I woke up from one thinking I was Meryl Streep at the Academy Awards at one point and had just wowed you all! (Not likely).

My name is Aly (or if you ask my mother or Jan over there they will tell you otherwise and that is is AlyCIA).

I own a local photography company Hazel Eye Photography. The last years have been a wild ride of both national and international publications and works. There have been some great awards including being twice nominated for one of the top wedding photographers in Oregon. These things are wonderful…and I am so appreciative but most importantly I am appreciative of the growth allowing me to give back even more along the way. Especially to organizations such as Sparrow Clubs which have so much heart.

I was never a great photographer…and if you all remember Mr Mike Murphy here in Grants Pass before he was mayor some time ago…He taught photography at the local high school. In that class I  mayyybe escaped with a C. It was just something fun with film cameras (yes I am old enough to have been there for those) and a dark room. I remember failing one themed assignment and my friend Christina saying "maybe her theme is not having a theme Mr Murphy." She might have been more right than she knew!

Have you ever feel like all things at a point in your life lead to to a path of calling though? Seven years ago I had just such a year. In 2011 I had what I lovingly call the "Restart Year." I was a single mom with two young kids. I worked overnight shifts often they were 27 hour sleep shifts and did nails on the side. My kids were bounced between three places/sitters/friends often times from Sundays to Mondays. Eventually due to the kid situation l unfortunately eventually lost my main job. A job helping people with disabilities that I really loved. Shortly thereafter due to this job loss I lost our home. 

During that hard year I felt a call to capture what was around me. I frequented the local pawnshops for a used camera. I think I finally wore the Cash Connection guys down. They had one that came in at last. He told me I could afford the camera minus the fancy lens that was with it.  I took what I could get happily.  I put the last of the money I had on it and declared myself a “photographer” and that I was going to change the world. A lot of people thought I was crazy but it ended up being the best gamble of my life.

The first give back I ever did with my new camera was in support of a local Sparrow child of a friend Kaleb Lahr at a casino night fundraiser. At that time I still really did not know what Sparrow Clubs did. I continued for some time at any opportunity giving back to families with illness or hard times. I did it not to capture the hard times but the joyful moments in there no matter how small and also participating in Help Portrait which I opened for our Grants Pass area. For some time in addition to my dream I kept working 1-2 other jobs at a time to supplement my income. 

A couple years later we were losing my Grammy who I helped care for. I attended that Fall Women of Faith in Portland with some friends. On the drive I remember a friend who knew I was into giving back telling me of a doctors wife in town who had lost her newborn and of a photographer who had come in and captured their baby for them through Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep and how important the memories were to the family. I remember thinking I want to do something meaningful like that for people. Grammy left us shortly after my trip. One of my most important photo memories dear to my heart was this one I took before I left to Women of Faith. It was of me holding her hand. I knew at that point every day could be one of the last times I ever did. I loved her hands. When Sparrow Clubs began seeking a photographer in the Grants Pass area a week or so later I immediately offered up my services. I still didn’t know a lot about it but I was about to learn so much.

I met little baby Cash for North Valley High School who was my very first Sparrow on a Fall day along with his sister and mother. The first shoot I EVER did in my new fancy studio downtown was with him. I was nervous and excited to meet them. We discussed the weather and the fall leaves as they had all moved from LA to care for Cash's late grandmother.  It was now just the three of them. I asked what did he love? Could he be outdoors? Did he have any special things that he took to his doctor visits? I learned he loved Pooh who went everywhere with him. 

When we got together it was such a unique experience. One I will never forget. The love and care they showed this tiny human was incredible. They did not care about how many chins were in a photo or if their hair was just right. They simply wanted a moment of happiness and love captured forever.

So that is what we did that day. That little boy with half a heart…. If anyone could have loved his heart to whole again they did. North Valley had already began gathering gifts for the family for the holidays and he was set to be brought in for assembly. Unfortunately on Christmas Eve I got a call that changed everything. Cash had left us. Our hearts were all broken. Writing this down and even reading this still makes me cry to this day.

My journey with this family however had just begun. I remember being asked to photograph the services which I did for the family. I remember floating balloons into the night sky that night and wondering what was the answer to all of this…and I prayed real hard for a right answer.

The answer came sooner than I thought and the messenger surprised me. I had booked a family session during the holidays for January…outdoors! I remember thinking “who does a family session in JANUARY when its 20 degrees?” The family was so kind and sweet even though they were quite frozen and through conversation baby Cash came up. I confided in this kind doctors wife that I had no idea what to do when people cried. I had no answers for any of this. And I was heart broken for this family.

She then told me a story…A story of a baby born before her young daughter I met that day she had lost. She told me of photos taken by a photographer and how much they had meant to her. As fate or God or whatever you believe would have it it was the same woman I had heard of from the Women of Faith trip. She told me of one of the darkest saddest times and of a friend she had. The friend said he only wanted to come over and hold her hand. And cry with her. Not talking, not praying. Just be there. She taught me that day that there are not always words for these situations but just to be there and grieve next to someone and have love for them is at times enough.

So that is what I did as best I could. I was there for the tears and the sadness. This family went through so much. I just continued and tried to be there and do little things now and again. Little by little time passed and there came a day came when I learned the daughter was to have a baby girl. Nothing gave me greater joy then to hear those words. To be there to capture her newborn photos, and her one year and see her birthdays come and go. To see the smiles again. To know that these incredible women enrolled in college and one now is complete in a medical field. The other when done plans to go into serving our community. I am so proud of and will always have so much love these strong ladies. This last Friday would have been their little guys 7th birthday and to see them celebrate it even in sadness with some images from my one day with them all makes me know I did everything that I could do.

Cash forever changed me. I think each and every time I shoot of him. I try to make it the happiest light moments even if its brief for families going through such hard times. I try to capture the details of each beautiful child. Their inner beauty as well as little details such as eyelashes, their funny cowlicks and the cute shoes they will grow out of all too fast. I love getting to know their favorite things be it a toy or their a Pink Floyd tee shirt or favorite song. I love getting to know the people who love them. They are all super hero's to me.

Through Sparrow Cubs the last several years I have watched as hundreds of youth in our community rise to their feet at an assembly in support of a child. I've seen them come up after to embrace a child they might otherwise have not. Seen the tears in parents eyes of joy at the support of these kids and schools coming together with an incredible purpose. And I too have cried at literally every one…especially if you ever hear the inspirational music played for them.

Here is what I have learned about the world since buying a camera that day and a quote by Beth Clark says it better than I ever could:

“People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I’ve noticed something about people who make a difference in the world: They hold the unshakeable conviction that individuals are extremely important. That every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind and treat one wound. They aren’t determined to revolutionize the world all at once. They’re satisfied with small chages. Over time though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations, and yes, the world.”

Sparrow Clubs to me is just that. We are reaching these kids on an individual level. Letting them see that they can impact someone else's life in as little as one hour of their time- or in some cases it grows to be many hours… or how about a lifetime? Because for some of these children and families it is just that. Lifetime friendships and bonds are formed. I feel lucky to be one of those. By taking away the money aspect we teach the kids and even ourselves that  this is more than just about who has money. It has taught me so much even at an adult level this as well. I didn’t start this with much more than time to give. Sometimes that time was photographs. Sometimes that has been a shoulder to cry on. Sometimes that has been helping someone move or finding something their child needed. Sometimes that has been just hanging out and talking about regular life things during a difficult time. Although at times this journey has been difficult I wouldn't change the path. Below I will post a gallery of a few of the beautiful children and families I have been blessed to get to know and some now I am lucky to call friends.

I hope that my story can help tell just a bit of a tale of what Sparrow Clubs is. What it does. How it brings people together and that it will inspire you all as well to love this organization the way I do.

To learn more about Sparrow Clubs and how then support families through our student bodies of schools in the communities please visit: www.sparrowclubs.org

Oregon Painted Hills Wedding Inspiration

This styled session in the Painted Hills of Oregon was just the most incredible adventure. This particular set I shot at last light both digitally here and with Portra 400 film you can see here: Painted Hills Film.  We travelled up through Eugene, Oregon to pick up our gorgeous model Abby VanSteenberghe then on into Salem, Oregon to pick up some incredible florals from Ponderosa and Thyme before our journey to the desert. Lovely vintage rental items were from Rosewood Event Rentals in Medford, Oregon, the glorious ring from one of my favorite jewelers in our state By Angeline. Beautiful flowing skirts by Space 46. Calligraphy by Kelsey Malie Calligraphy and ribbons by Silk and Willow. This whole vision was styled and brought together by Lahna Marie Photography and these incredible vendors. I was so blessed to be able to do some film work and assist on this dream shoot of hers. She has been an incredible mentor and inspiration to me over the past two years and I simply cannot repay what she has gifted me. Here is a look at the Oregon Painted Hills in color following up my black and white Delta 3200 film post from earlier you may see here: Painted Hills Black and White Film

Cape Kiwanda Styled Engagement

Where the desert meets the sea...

This beautiful session on the Oregon coast at Cape Kiwanda was a little dreamy adventure. Having this real couple Mayra and Gonzalo it was just filled with so much love. The soft beachy tones, beautiful florals and styling was absolutely perfection on this day.

Invitations by Julie Ha Calligraphy, table decor Shop River Rock, vintage rentals by Rosewood Vintage, florals by Good Seed Floral, Ring by Susie Saltzman Fine Jewelry, Cake by Mrs Cards Cakes, Ribbon by Silk and Willow, Hair by The Nest Salon and makeup by Robin Opal Artistry.  

Redwoods Maternity Photography

"She was one of the rare ones, so effortlessly herself, and the world loved her for it." ~Atticus

A walk in the Redwood Forest with this beautiful momma to be was absolutely magical. I was just about to post a model call for maternity when I stumbled upon Maya...30 weeks along and glowing. More to this story to make it perfection is that just not long ago I had photographed her wedding in the Redwoods as well. 

I chose to keep a more natural vibe on these...neutrals and softer greens with lots of natural light falling through the canopy. 

Here is a peek at our day~

Dear Moms & that 15 extra pounds...

Dear Moms,

I am writing this to you (and me too ~ who am I kidding). I am writing this to you on behalf of your beautiful children and your families everywhere... 

Your children love you as you are. RIGHT. NOW.

Not the you that you were, not the you that you might be. Just you. And while we wait and postpone our family photo sessions years slip by. This is not to say you haven't captured every game, every recital and every milestone. But what is missing is YOU. The pressure these days with social media to look a certain way weighs on us all. I get it. But someday when you are looking back don't you want to remember those moments together? Won't your children? Don't you yourself cherish moments caught with your own parents or grandparents no matter their wrinkles or chins? 

Stop putting off being a part of photos "until I loose that extra 15 pounds."  Each day is a gift. Lets love ourselves ladies! Our partners and children do. 

Much love!

~Aly

 

Dancer Forest Oregon Wedding

This wedding was so beautiful. Taking place in a Southern Oregon wooded glen on the bride's parents property it was just filled with joy and personal touches. 

If you love Oregon like me, lots of hydrangeas, a bit of sun and magic glow, tall trees, summer flowers and beautiful people then you will love this peek~

Mr and Mrs Dancer~

Wisteria Gardens Oregon Wedding

This beautiful wedding took place on possibly the hottest day in Oregon for the summer of 2017. Wisteria Garden is a magic place full of lush cool green botanicals that kept us all shaded and cool. The getting ready areas were breezy and air conditioned, the fans misted everyone throughout the ceremony. I couldn't think of anywhere I'd have rather us all been on such a day.

Here is a peek at Mr and Mrs Wilson and their two adorable littles. So much love was felt throughout this day. Love and joy. Surrounded by their family and friends you could feel it radiating in the air.  

Here is a peek at Mr and Mrs Wilson~

Thank you for being so very kind and allowing me to be a part of your very special day.

Oregon Engagement and Newborn Sunset Session

Give me Oregon at sunset in the Spring, a beautiful family, lots of love and a baby, and I will give you magic~

This session was unique. For my friend Aaliyah I combined newborn & engagement together as this family has lots to celebrate! This little precious one is the most beautiful tiny person who was so wide eyed and looking all around at the great outdoors. 

Here is a peek at Aaliyah, Jared and precious baby Malani. Please join me in congratulating them on all things on their new journey together~

Southern Oregon Vineyard Maternity Photography

Several years ago I received a message from sweet Aaliyah. She was inquiring about my senior rep program which I was no longer doing at the time. However there was just this magic draw about her that made me want to not only get to know her but capture her raw natural beauty. There are some people who just glow from the inside out I think and she was one of them. She was one of the most incredible representatives I've ever had.

Fast forward to this year and she became the most beautiful momma to be. I approached her for a personal project that I would style her for a maternity session and take a few photos at a local vineyard in a greenhouse they had there knowing it would work rain or shine. I was actually going for a more dark moody feel but instead we were blessed with sunny skies, fields of flowers and blooms on pear trees. We were able to relax first on Schmidt Vineyards patio and enjoy refreshments prior. Shooting this was only about a 15 or 20 minute window of time. The more I grow in photography over the years, and the more I go in with a vision, the less time I find necessary for accomplishing lens magic. 

Here is a peek at Aaliyah. I am sure you will enjoy~ One of the most beautiful mommas to be I have ever worked with~

Dorris Ranch Fall Wedding

This incredible wedding and blending of families happened at Dorris Ranch in Oregon. There were touching moments of personal intimate vows between bride and groom exchanged in hazelnut orchards. The groom speaking from his heart to his new daughter. There were moments of happy tears thankfully covered by tiny persons handing out tissues down the isle. There was rain and real rainbows that only Oregon can deliver within the hour.

I could go on forever but you are here to see it all for yourself!  So here it all is for you to see. A very special thank you to my talented friend Photography by Lynn Marie out of Eugene for letting me second shoot these moments for you and hosting me for an incredibly fun evening.

Here are Heather and Sean~

 

Boudoir Style Maternity Grants Pass

This lady is just absolutely lovely! 

My maternity sessions may be also done here locally in Grants Pass with some intimate maternity style boudoir. These are usually done prior to heading out for the main outdoor portraits. They can be in home lifestyle or in the rooms I provide as shown here. 

Here is a peek~

Oregon Winter Princess Child Photography Grants Pass

"Though she be but little, she is fierce."

~William Shakespeare A Midsummer Night's Dream

My little Chloe... What happiness you bring. These big blue eyes have kept me inspired all along my journey in photography. Your personality always brings a smile to those around you. And your stubborn tiny chin that sets just so when you want your way. 

This session was done in about a ten minute window during an unusually cold frosty morning here in Grants Pass, Oregon. Underneath the beautiful fur cloak is an incredible gown by Dollcake Couture. This session for her six year birthday I split into Part I and Part II (indoor and outdoor) to showcase both. I searched high and low for a special carousel horse for these to keep a whimsical feel (thank you Anna Minter). 

Here is a peek at my beautiful girl...