Mt Tabor Engagement Session

I love photography, coffee, and hiking and I struck gold as all three were featured in Eita and Julia’s recent engagement session on Mt. Tabor. These two were warm, playful, and easy to work with and also came with the benefit of a cute backstory, the theme of which we tied into our shoot. It is always gratifying to be able to highlight meaningful aspects of my client’s lives in their photo sessions.

For Eita and Julia it was their love of coffee that brought them together and helped to cement their relationship. In an ultimate meet-cute style, these two met at a coffee shop in Taiwan and proceeded to do a coffee shop tour together through Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. They currently live together in LA and are experts in exploring their local coffee scene. They contacted me prior to their trip to Portland with the intention of documenting their first trip to this beautiful City of Bridges. It wouldn’t be representative of the couple- or Portland for that matter- without a chance to hold part of their session at the original Stumptown location on Division. It helped that Julia sent over a vision board with the look and style of images that she liked as I was able to help plan a shoot that encapsulated the vibe that this couple would cherish.

In true Portland fashion, we experienced both the warmth of the caffeinated indoors and also had the chance to visit our friendly neighborhood volcanic cinder cone- Mt. Tabor. Mt. Tabor is a personal favorite of mine and I loved showing Eita and Julia around. We couldn’t have gotten more lucky in terms of light. The fog was dense throughout the city but when we arrived at the top of the mountain the morning sun broke through and treated us to quite the show. Playing with sun rays helped elevate the already cute couples photos to the next level.

I look forward to combining my caffeine and photography passions together as often as I can in the future!. Thank you Eita and Julia for a great engagement session.

Newborn Photos at Home

As a photographer I have the honor of being present at milestone events in the lives of my clients. Some clients are wedding clients, some clients are portrait clients, some clients book me for family sessions and sometimes I’m lucky to be the photographer for all of these events. I have several families that return each year to document the growth of their families and have also had wedding clients that turned into maternity session and eventually newborn session clients!

Being a part of all of these journeys means a lot to me as a photographer and newborn sessions are some of my favorite milestone moments to document. Comfort of my clients is of utmost importance for all of my sessions and this is especially true in a newborn sessions. I love to utilize the natural light of your home to capture vibrant images of your newborn baby, while highlighting the tender moments between baby and parents. In this shoot with baby Jasper I was also lucky to have three generations present- as Jaspers grandmother was able to join the photoshoot. It can be intimidating to have a camera in front of your face and it is my goal to create the most comfortable photoshoot experiences for both the oldest and youngest members of your family.

Babies, especially Jasper, have an incredible knack for being great models as their most simple “poses” (including yawning, stretching and cooing) are melt your heart level cute. Jasper had some great eye contact to show off during his first modeling session and I can already tell that he is a natural in front of the camera. It was almost too easy to get great images during this session- between having a loving family to work with and Jaspers ability to work the camera-it was hard to pick my favorite shots. As with all of my families, I look forward to seeing how Jasper grows and look forward to planning a session with you and your new addition.

FamilyChris Brodell
Family photos at Berkeley Park

While I love getting out of town, hiking, and exploring for adventure sessions, there is something about a simple neighborhood park family photo shoot that can’t be beat. I was able to spend a day with this cute little family in a place that their four-year-old daughter knows and loves, a place that she is comfortable with (and a place that isn’t too far to run back home and get some forgotten snacks or accessories). This accessibility and comfort is key in getting some great shots, as I have learned from taking years of family portraits is that when the kid is smiling the parents are usually smiling too!

The beauty of Portland is that it is packed to the brim with lush neighborhood parks. This is great for families day to day, as there are options for both parents and kids alike to avoid boredom and get outside. It is also great for choosing family portrait locations. If the park down the street looks a little packed with other families and children, it is a good bet that there will be another park just around the corner that will be just as great of an option.

I was lucky on the day we shot with this family as Berkeley park was full of sunshine, but not too full of people. Their daughter loved getting in tune with the last remnants of fall while exploring some leaves-which also made for some great props. It is always fun to take pictures of families that you have created relationships with-and it was no different in this shoot. The sessions produced fun, bright and vibrant- yet seemingly effortless images of a family having fun- which is what I’m all about. I have fun with my families and I think that this light-hearted approach makes the difference in the end result.

I look forward to capturing some great family photos at a park near you!

FamilyChris Brodell
Peninsula Park Rose Garden Wedding

Even though we love the colors of fall, we are basking in memories of late summer with this wedding at the Peninsula Park Rose Garden in North Portland. Viktoria and Alex chose to have their ceremony in the neighborhood where they live and we love that they kept it local and were able to celebrate their wedding day in a place with a personal connection to them. In fact, meaningful location selection was integrated into the whole day as the reception was held a local joint called Bad Habit, where it just so happens that this couple had one of their first dates.

Viktoria and her wedding party put the finishing touches on the looks of the day at Shipwreck, which turned out to have an attic nook that was perfect for pre-wedding pictures! It was a great opportunity to get some pictures of Viktoria’s intricate and elegant beaded dress and capture the moment in which Viktoria’s mother first saw her in her gown.

After the wedding party was ready to go, it was time to walk over to the park where the ceremony would be held and we weren’t disappointed by the beautiful late summer light on the way. It was tons of fun to be able to shoot the couple exchanging their vows in the natural light surrounded by their closest friends and family (plus their cute little one!) under the park gazebo. We were definitely able to get our steps in during this active wedding as the entire party walked from the park to the reception venue together. It was during this walking that we were able to get some fun, casual, celebratory photographs that show off the walking wedding “parade.”

This wedding may have been intimate but it was evident that the couple was surrounded by a lovely and lively group of friends as they danced and celebrated the night away.

WeddingsChris Brodell
Powell Butte Engagement Session

Recently I was lucky to shoot an engagement session at Powell Butte with Grace and Thomas. We met on a warm Summer evening at a large nature park with dense woods and open meadows. I had been excited to shoot at this location for awhile and when Grace mentioned they wanted somewhere scenic but not too far away from downtown Portland, I knew just where to go. 

I know that my clients aren't professional models and I regularly hear concerns about feeling awkward in front of a camera. For me, it's not only important to take great photos of my clients that are flattering but also create an experience and an environment that sets my clients at ease during their shoot; engagement sessions are great for this. These sessions are such a good opportunity for me to get to the know the couple aside from the hustle and bustle of their wedding day. They also allow my clients to get to know me and see how I work. During an engagement session, I work with my clients to find poses that are natural and comfortable all while exploring beautiful scenery and having a fun time together. 

My session with Grace and Thomas started with a meander through a grove of shady old trees, which provided a backdrop for vibrant photos with soft light. As our shoot progressed, I was able to get some great shots of the two looking out over the scenic vistas of Southeast Portland. Grace and Thomas, were easy to work with and fell into natural poses that highlighted their comfort and ease with one another in front of the camera. Best of all they were down to hike, explore, and find all of the nice light. Photographing Grace and Thomas on the hillsides and overlooking the vistas of Portland was a perfect way to capture the beautiful simplicity of two people who really care about each other.

I wish these two all the happiness as they start their life in the Pacific Northwest together!