Monday, December 1, 2008

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! As a “military mom” this video really stuck a cord with me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I was photographing little Seth the other day and had this inspiration to photograph myself with him. I have been photographing him since he was a baby and feel like “Auntie Miriam”. I may start a whole series of photographs of me with “my kids”. Sounds like fun!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Fall Colors

This year has been one of the best as far as the wonderful fall colors go. Take a look at some of the families who took advantage of the wonderful backdrop mother nature has offered!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And the winner is...

The winner of our first online giveaway is... Kristina! Thank you to everyone who entered, it's been so much fun catching up with you. Make sure to check in often, we'll be having more giveaways. And until then, keep in touch! Congratulations Kristina!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Want to know what we are giving away?
A FREE portrait session during our Family Christmas Card Event, 25 customized HOLIDAY CARDS and a fun HOLIDAY BASKET.

Here's how it works...
1) Leave a comment here or email us and you'll be entered in the drawing.
2)Join our Myspace or Facebook page and receive FIVE more entries.
3)Leave us comments on our blog, Facebook or Myspace and receive ONE entry per comment. Leave as many as you want, we LOVE comments!
4)Blog about our contest and get 20 entries! Just make sure to include a link to our homepage,, then email us with a link to your blog or website to verify.

5)Add our blog to your blog sidebar and earn 50 entries
6)Sign up for our Family Christmas Card Event BEFORE October 22nd and get 100 entries!!!

The drawing will be held Wednesday, October 22nd. We'll post our winner.

Good luck!

Haugen's Family Christmas Card event is taking place on Saturday, November 1st.
Click here for more information.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Check out...

all of the great athletes we've had visit our studio this year!!



Leigh Anne










I had so much fun getting to know and photograph all of these seniors! You can catch them all in action this year as the compete in their last year of high school athletics!

Good luck to you all!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Habitat for Humanity

I have always wanted to work on a Habitat for Humanity house and finally got my chance August 9. Habitat for Humanity is one of my favorite charities and got the idea that I could celebrate my birthday (August 1) by giving back to the community. Neil wants to do it with me next time (His birthday is August 12).
I spent the morning installing windows in a two story, two family home in south Salem that will become home to the Flores family. I loved doing something very tangible to help a family improve their lives.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Way to go, Jed!

I wrote something about Jed Lowrie last year and realized I was long overdue for an update. Jed is a Salem native, now playing for the Boston Red Sox. This is a portrait I did of him and his family when he was 10. The Red Sox placed shortstop, Julio Lugo, on the disabled list in July and called up Jed from Pawtucket (AAA). He has a .260 batting average, 2 home runs and 44 RBI’s for the Red Sox.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I have a new camera phone! I never thought I would want one until I realized that I could post, “See what I’m doing now!” photos on the blog so much more easily. It is really fun! This was taken on a hike up Paulina Peak in Central Oregon on Labor Day weekend. We live in a beautiful state!

Looking for a DJ?

We met Lisa Cowan of Sweetwater Entertainment at Scott and Katie’s wedding in August. She provided music for walking in and exiting for their outdoor wedding ceremony and did a great job as DJ for the reception. A good DJ makes our job as photographers, so much easier! Thank you, Lisa!

Click HERE to check out all Sweetwater Entertainment has to offer!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

David & Dana

Had a great time photographing David and Dana with their horses, Jackie and Prince, at our portrait park. This was a celebration of Dana’s 50th birthday. Can you believe it? You go girl! The best is yet to come!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Jenna & Trevor

I just did engagement portraits of Jenna and Trevor. It was a perfect day to be photographing a wheat field at sunset. Trevor is a wheat and grass seed farmer so it was VERY important that the wheat be perfect with no fall down spots. I love the one of them from the back. Anyone have suggestions for a title?

It was really fun to go to Tangent and do a session so close to my old stomping ground. I grew up on a dairy farm in Oakville and taught music for three years at Tangent Elementary.
Congratulations Jenna and Trevor!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


must be a lucky day. The weather was absolutely perfect. The setting for the portraits with the water and tall trees expressed David and Meesh’s love of the outdoors beautifully. It was so much fun to photograph you. Neil and I are looking forward to doing anniversary portraits for years to come! Congratulations!

My favorite qoute from the wedding was: "When the cookie pans arrive we will start"

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Singing Really, Really Loud!

I love children and love to sing. Back in high school, I decided that I needed to be an elementary school music teacher and I actually did that for six years. Now I let the dancing and ridiculously loud singing Miriam out once a year at Vacation Bible School. We just finished a week long “Rainforest Adventure” at St. Mark Lutheran in Salem. What fun!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Camas and Kyle

It was 100 degrees on the day of their wedding but Camas and Kyle were awesome to work with. What a beautiful day!Congratulations Camas and Kyle!
(Click on image to view a slideshow from Camas and Kyle's Wedding.)

We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Kristy - Then and Now

It is really amazing to see the children that we have photographed over the years grow up. When I photographed Kristy at age two, she was running around the studio like a wild thing but I managed to capture this image that totally embodies sweetness and innocence. I titled it "Close to My Heart" and it was selected for the National Loan Collection for the Professional Photographers of America. This is the highest award given to a single image by the largest and most prestigious organization in the world. This has remained one of my favorite images.

Now, 19 years later, Kristy is getting married and came into the studio for a bridal session. She was much more cooperative this time!

Congratulations Kristy!

Summer Fun

Lars is taking swimming lessons at the Independence YMCA pool this summer. He's losing some fear, learning how to move through the water and having a lot of fun. He just turned 10 and he's already 5'3" and wearing men's 8 1/2 sized shoes!! They grow so fast...

Talk about a family of athletes!!

Ashlyn, Taylor and Trent, who are triplets, came to us for their senior portraits. Check out how involved in sports they are. Did I mention their mom is a triathlete?!? Can't wait for the whole family to come in for their complimentary family session.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Leigh Anne - Central High School

Check out this great slideshow of Leigh Anne, one of our Senior Models from Central!

(Click image to start slideshow)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ashlyn - Sprague High School

I am having so much fun photographing the Class of 2009, and Ashlyn in no exception! She is another one of my senior models and her portraits turned out great. Fun Fact: Ashlyn is a triplet! Her brothers came in for their senior session yesterday, so you will be seeing them as well.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Avery - Sprague High School

Avery is another one of our Senior Models. What a great girl! Make sure to check her out on the soccer field and the tennis court.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sarah - Central High School

It's that time of year when I am busy photographing Senior Reps for the Class of 2009. Sarah is such a pleasure to be around. Her positive attitude and sunny smile is contagious!! Here are a couple of images from her session. Check out the one of Sarah in her softball uniform. She is an awesome pitcher for the Central High School softball team.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

As an artist I (Miriam) feel down and frustrated with my work at times. The little voice inside starts to ask, “ Are you really any good?” “Do you really have a unique vision?”

It was at such a time that a friend sent me this quote.

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
That is translated through you into action,
And because there is only one of you in all time,
This expression is unique.

And if you block it,
It will never exist through any other medium
And be lost.
The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is:
Nor how valuable it is: nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly,
To keep the channel open.

You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work.
You have to keep open and aware directly
To the urges that motivate you.

Keep the channel open.
No artist is ever pleased
There is no satisfaction whatever at any time.
There is only a queer, divine satisfaction,
A blessed unrest that keeps us marching
And makes us more alive than the others.

-- Martha Graham

Monday, April 21, 2008

Neil’s father is nearing the end of his life. It is a time for family closeness and quite a few tears. I (Miriam) feel very grateful to have had him as a father-in-law. He has loved me like a daughter, overlooked my flaws, spoiled my children, and filled me with wonderful stories.

Ah, the stories! Stories of growing up in North Dakota, spending the summer in Norway when he was 9, and driving truck during World War II with nothing but starlight to see by. The faint distinction between dark trees and barely lighter sky was sometimes the only way he could tell where the road was. We heard some of the stories so many times that the characters are like old friends.

With all of our parents still living, we have not had to deal with the sense of loss and emptiness that many of our friends have had when they lose a parent. We feel fortunate to have had Bob for as long as we have.

It has been five years since our fateful trip to Iowa to attend a weekend of Christmas concerts at Luther College where Anna was going to school. Nels and Lars stayed home while Neil and I, his parents and Aunt Jackie went on what was supposed to be a four day trip to visit Anna and hear beautiful music. Bob hadn’t been feeling well but the doctor said he was ok to go. The events of the days to follow were unbelievable. Both parents ended up at the Mayo clinic (an hour’s drive from Luther College), Alice for an emergency quintuple bypass and Bob with pnuemonia followed by internal bleeding. What was supposed to be a fun extended weekend was three weeks of gut-wrenching agony and Bob almost didn’t make it.

Since then, every Christmas, Easter, or birthday celebration has been a gift to be treasured. We are treasuring these days as well. Anna flew home this weekend from Gettysburg to visit and spend as much time with Grandpa as possible. When she was little, he would drop everything to come to our house and look after her if she was sick, then go to Luker’s for ice cream, when she was feeling better. He is alert and in good spirits. What a blessing!

One other thing that should not be left out is the legacy of faith that Bob has brought to his entire family. Like most men of his generation, he has not necessarily talked about his relationship with God on a personal level but through his actions it was always clear where his priorities were.

His children grew up with the church as a second home. When I married Neil, I wasn’t quite 21 and in that “What do I really believe?” stage. In the Lutheran church I found a place where questions were encouraged, not judged, and Bob and Alice accepted me and gave me time to wrestle with my doubts. By the time we had children, sharing a strong faith life with our children had become a priority in our lives. We did nightly prayers as a family and Neil often sang them to sleep with favorite hymns. When Anna was confirmed at age 14, the pastor chose a bible verse for her, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.’” Psalm 115. Now she is at seminary to become a Lutheran pastor. Nels and Lars express their faith in their own ways but I have little doubt that this same faith will be transmitted to the next generation.

Thank you, Bob.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Philip Charis Said it Best

by Miriam Haugen
Eleanor had me sorting through some old papers today and I found this wonderful quote from Philip Charis that I just had to share. Philip Charis is one of the great portrait artists of our time. Classic elegance with stunning clarity and resolution best describes his work.
"Photography is the last link in a chain which started when people began drawing on the walls of their caves. From the days of the portrait painter portraying the privileged few, to the arrival of the daguerreotype that gave millions the possibility to have their own portraits, a fascinating development.
"Why then the need for the professional photographer? Simply, the professional photographer does not find pictures, he creates them. The success of the portrait still lies in the eye and in the mind of the professional photographer.
"Constant practice with constant goals, diligence, perseverance, and esthetic harmony are what define the professional photographer. He has the power to show the love a mother has for a child, to see tardust in the eyes of a young couple, to show the majesty and power in a pair of gnarled old hands, to show the grandeur of God and his creations in the sky, the mountains and the fields.
"In the scant 145 years since its invention, photography has revolutionized our lives."
Philip Charis

Thursday, March 27, 2008

What Do Your Wedding Photographs Really Mean to You?

by Miriam Haugen
I learned something new yesterday about the importance of this "photography thing" that Neil and I do. I’ve always known that when the big day is done, the wedding cake is gone, the flowers are wilted, the dress is cleaned and packed away, what is left is the wedding album. Brides and grooms look at that album year after year, while the memories come flooding back of that most important day in their lives.
But recently, a man that has been married over 25 years taught me a new way of looking at what we do.
Yesterday, I had a newly married couple and her parents in the studio to look at their wedding images and plan a wedding album. When we were finished and Mom had left the room, Dad turned to the couple and said. "You know every married couple goes through rough times. It’s inevitable."
The couple were thinking, "Oh no, here comes the lecture."
He continued, "No this isn’t a lecture. I want you to know that I found something that helped me through those hard times when being married wasn’t so fun. Your mother doesn’t know this, but I would go off by myself and pull out that wedding album and remember why I got married in the first place. It really helped."
What a great testimony to the importance of wedding albums! When I look at mine, I see our young, fresh faces, full of love and hope for the future and I, too, am reminded of all things good. Keep remembering, and keep on loving!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Neil Wins National Award

It is time to celebrate!

No, I am not talking about the studio’s 30th anniversary, or Nels and Danielle’s upcoming wedding, or Anna preaching her first sermon to her home congregation, or Lars reading his first chapter book. They are all things in our life that we are celebrating right now. This time the spotlight is on Neil.

Drum roll, please!
Neil has earned his Master of Photography degree from the Professional Photographers of America! This is harder to achieve and therefore more meaningful than any academic degree. You earn merits toward the degree through teaching, judging, attending accredited classes and service to the organization but you must also prove your talent by entering prints in the PPA competition and have them accepted as "merit prints". That is the big challenge. Let me tell you a little bit about the process.

Every year, you go through all the images you created over the last year looking for the very best. You can only choose four each year. Then you take each image and breathe life into it. You must do everything you can to ensure that the image is technically flawless and has maximum impact. You selectively lighten and darken areas of the image to draw the eye to the story it has to tell. You eliminate anything that could be a distraction, no matter how small—every blemish, every twig that is out of place. You look at the image upside down. Are there distractions you didn’t notice when it was right side up? Get rid of them. In the days of film (just 6 years ago), our tools were the print enlarger, a paper cutter, and a tray of photographic dyes that we would apply with a very tiny paintbrush. Now, we use the computer. Every image is matted, sprayed with a high gloss lacquer and titled. That title is crucial because it helps tell the print’s story to the judges.

The moment the print appears before the judges, there should be a sudden intake of breath. The judges, trying to appear cool and well reasoned, are thinking, "Wow! I wish I had taken that!" Then and only then, do you have a merit print. Every photographer who has ever entered competition knows the agony of putting their very best before the judges, only to be told, "That’s ok. . . but not good enough."
Last year, three out of four of Neil’s prints were merit prints, giving him enough merits for his Master’ degree.
On January 5, we traveled to Tampa, Florida for the Professional Photographers of America national convention to receive his award. There were over 8,000 photographers from all over the world at this convention. We attended classes, looked at the print salon where the merit prints from 2007 hung, and spent hours in the enormous trade show, coming away with loads of fresh inspiration.

On Tuesday evening, Neil donned his tux and we trotted off for official photographs and the awards ceremony. The ceremony was much like a graduation with speeches and special awards. There were over 200 people receiving degrees of various kinds. As the announcer said, "R. Neil Haugen, Monmouth, Oregon, CPP, FP, sponsored by Miriam M. Haugen, Master Photographer, CPP, FP" we walked onto the stage and I placed the gold ribbon around his neck and gave him a big kiss. He shook the hand of the PPA president who presented him with the degree certificate. Several of our colleagues from Oregon were there to congratulate Neil which made it all the more meaningful.

The pursuit of this goal has made us better photographers. It has forced us to stretch and grow in ways we might never have chosen to on our own. What is the next goal? Neil and I will be working toward our Craftsman degree, which has an emphasis on teaching. In the process of teaching other photographers, we will become even better at what we do.