Monday, November 28, 2011

People Come From Salem, Corvallis, Albany, Monmouth, Dallas, and beyond for Children's Portraits with Santa

Schedule an Appointment
The secret to  a relaxed experience with Santa is that we schedule appointments. There is no waiting in line and plenty of time to talk to Santa and calm frazzled nerves. He will be here all day on December 10 but the appointment times are filling fast so send us an email or call 503-838-5416 if you would like to schedule. 

How Much Is It? 
This event is really affordable. You can purchase a 4x5 print for just $12, or a package for $35-$65. 

Come on and join the fun! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Black Friday? You bet!

Honestly, I am not a big shopper so I generally avoid the malls and big retail stores on Thanksgiving weekend. If I have to pay full retail for socks on a different day, I will.

That got me thinking. Wouldn't it be great if you could Shop Local while still cozying up to the fire in your jammies on the day after Thanksgiving?

You can do just that by purchasing gift certificates to Haugen's online! We are having our own Black Friday and Cyber Monday special. Just go to our online shopping cart and purchase gift certificates for all your friends and family for 25% off the face value. We can even mail the certificates to you. Wow, that's easy.

Now that is MY idea of a great way to shop!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Time to Party at Haugen's!

Time to party!

I have a number of small business owners that will be coming to the studio and sharing the fun stuff that they do. You can do a little Christmas shopping, sip some wine, get a massage, and have some fun with friends.

There is NO CHARGE for this event. Seriously. We were just wanting to say thank you to our clients and meet some new people along the way. We would love it if you supported the vendors by doing a little Christmas shopping and buying a raffle ticket would be awesome (see the next paragraph) but if you want to come and just hang out, that would be great, too.

We will be selling raffle tickets for a gift basket full of goodies. Funds received will go to support Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. This is an organization that provides beautiful photographs to parents suffering from the loss of a baby.

If you plan to come, give us an RSVP so we know how much food to buy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

McNary High School Reunion- Salem, Oregon

40 years? You have got to be kidding!

Neil's high school reunion was this summer and a good time was had by all. (He is the handsome devil in the white shirt standing on the right.) The Blues Brothers gave us a command performance and we danced and partied like it was 1971 (well, almost.) Big thanks to Danny Bisgarrd and the crew for putting this all together.

I did not go to McNary (my reunion for West Albany is next year) but this group gets together every five years and have really made me feel welcome.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Family Portraits in Bend and Sunriver, Oregon

We have a family reunion every Labor Day weekend. My parents, siblings, and as many nieces, nephews and grand kids as we can manage converge on Sunriver to enjoy the warm sunshine and hiking in the beautiful Oregon Cascades.

When my father turned 40 he started climbing mountains and he has scaled every significant peak in the northwest. There were many family backpacking trips during the summer as I was growing up and a love of the outdoors was instilled in each of us. Most of these trips were to the Cascades and it just might be the nostalgia that keeps pulling me back to the high mountains, clear lakes, Douglas fir and Ponderosa Pine.

My father is 93 now and doesn't climb mountains anymore but he is still an avid hiker. The trails my sister chooses for him are shorter and gentler than he would have chosen 15 years ago. 15 years ago, my sister and I couldn't keep up with him. Now we get to spend time visiting with him as we stroll at a more leisurely pace. This year we hiked to Doris Lake which is a five mile round trip. Pretty impressive for 93, don't you think?

This year we did this portrait of my brother and his family with the Deschutes River and South Sister in the background because it is a place with many happy memories of family times. We look forward to sharing our love of Central Oregon by doing a portrait event at Sunriver on October 1. If you would like to do this now or at some future time, drop me a line.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Root Beer Cake Anyone?

Lars spent the summer learning how to bake cakes for 4H..... and we have the waist lines to show for it! In a six week period we consumed three chocolate birthday cakes, two angelfood cakes, one 7 layer torte and two Rootbeer cakes. That was a lot of cake.

Lars can now separate egg whites like a pro, whip up a 7 layer torte that will melt in your mouth and learned how to bake a moist and yummy Root Beer Cake.
Lars with his other 4H projects: Our dog, Aphrodite, and his Holland Lop, Cheez-it.

When I announced that his Angel Food Cake and Root Beer Cake both won blue ribbons at the Polk County Fair, the requests for the Root Beer cake recipe started flooding in. I am not one to hold secret family recipes close to my chest so I thought I would share.

Blue Ribbon Root Beer Cake                                           

2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
1 c. margarine
2 Tbsp. cocoa
1 c. root beer
½ c. buttermilk
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1-1/2 c. miniature marshmallows

Combine flour and sugar in mixing bowl. Heat butter, cocoa, and root beer to boiling. Pour over sugar and flour. Stir well. Add buttermilk, eggs, soda, vanilla, and marshmallows. Beat well. Use a 9x13 inch pan greased on all sides. Bake at 350 degrees approximately 40 minutes.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Wedding in Oregon.....Somewhere Between Salem, Monmouth, Corvallis and Forever

The dress slipped quickly over Megan's head and the transformation from kicked back mama to wedding diva began. "Will I be flashing everybody when I bend over?... Will it work to have this rose in my hair?" In spite of the white gown and all the primping, Megan was determined to have a low stress day. The makeup was natural, the hairstyle: simple, the shoes: comfortable.... and Amy was there at her side to fix what needed to be fixed and to be the calm voice of experience.

The two moms were flitting about outside, fixing this, helping with that like two hummingbirds lighting on this flower and then that. The two dads moved with  the calm assurance of those that have been through this before and the knowledge that no matter what else happened, Ryan and Megan would soon be officially starting their life together.

Ryan wiped the perspiration from his brow. It took some convincing, but we finally assured him that there were other people that could finish getting three year old, Joey into his tux and now he fidgeted...... waiting. He was waiting for the love of his life, his angel, the one that made him complete.

Megan, thank you, thank you, thank you. I love your joy, your love of life, and the way Ryan looks in your eyes and loves every bit of what he sees. And the most important thing of all, he is going to be a great dad to Joey.

 This was on a hill overlooking Ryan's parent's home where the wedding took place. It is on the road to Dancing Oaks Nursery, an amazing place to wander, photograph, and dream of the lush gardens you could create. We had planned to photograph Ryan, Megan and Joey there but we were lured away by this perfect wheat field. I am looking for an excuse to go back and photograph in the bamboo grove.

Ryan and Megan were not at all sure that Joey was going to put on that tux and be in the wedding. He is a three year old trying to take on the world in his own terms.

Sassy! I love the way Megan clowns in front of the camera!

And now they are one...........................................................

Party time!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Corvallis Family Portraits- All in a Summer's Day

This was our second time photographing the Ehler's family on their property in King's Valley. You can find one from the last session on our website.

What a perfect day it was! We were a little nervous with all the rain that we had in June but God smiled on us.

We managed to do some senior portraits of Jake, while we were about it. Surprising enough, there was not a basketball in ANY of the portraits. Jake is already negotiating with colleges for the best scholarships and perks. I think we will have to take in a Corvallis High basketball game this year!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

All our Dreams can Come True...a Tribute to Walt Disney

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them" This is a quote from Walt Disney, a man with unfailing determination and vision.

I used to look down my nose at the vast Disney empire with its amusement parks, cutesy fuzzy animals, and too formulaic movies. I was especially annoyed when he took my favorite children's stories of all time, A.A. Milne's, Winnie the Pooh and "Disneyfied" them. In the original, the characters have depth and the humor is sweet but sophisticated. Not so in Disney's version.

As I have grown older and wiser, I have to admit that good, old Walt was quite a guy. There was a lot more to him than a keen sense of what would sell to the masses. He truly was a visionary and had the single mindedness and perseverance to bring his dreams to fruition. 

He knew exactly what he was about.... what "Disney" was about, and knew how to lead others along with him without falling into the traps that most of us do along the way: self doubt, distraction, running down side paths and forgetting the main focus. 
"Disneyland is the star, everything else is in the supporting role." This quote may not sound earth shatteringly brilliant but it gives great insight into how he built his empire. He knew that if money becomes the focus, the dream will be lost."Disneyland is a work of love. We didn't go into Disneyland just with the idea of making money."

I think that is why so many great companies falter when they get bought out by huge corporations. Remember how cool Snapple used to be? "Made from the best stuff on earth." It was quirky and cool. Now it seems to be just another bottled beverage lost in a crowded field since it was bought by Dr Pepper. They should have taken a few lessons from Walt Disney.

My favorite Disney movie is "Meet the Robinsons." I love it because it is quirky and different and doesn't follow a formula. I watched it thinking it was just a light hearted romp until the very end and they hit us with that quote from (guess who?)..... Walt. Suddenly, the movie became more than mindless entertainment. It was a testimony to a great man.

"We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." Walt Disney

May I remain curious and always moving forward.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sonia's Senior Pictures: Dallas High School

Sonia just joined the ranks of high school graduates. I have photographed her older sisters, her little niece, the family....what's next?

I hope you are heading out into the world to do great things, Sonia!

Can you tell that Sonia has a thing for Nike's?

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Epic Battle of Miriam against THE WEED

I better start out by saying that I am no Martha Stewart. You won't find me creating perfect centerpieces and creative name cards for all my soirees. My cooking is basic, my home is hardly pristine and the decorating is less than picture perfect. I hardly dare to say that I like gardening. That might cause one to come to my home with visions of lush flower beds brimming with color and a neat and tidy vegetable garden laid in symetrical, neat, weed-free rows. The reality is that I am still trying to figure out how to keep the flowers from drying up in the heat of summer, how to keep the deer from eating the tulips and tomatoes, and how to keep THE WEED from taking over my garden.

I have been doing battle with THE WEED when I can squeeze in time between photography and family time. I don't know what it is but it has been slowly taking over my garden for the last three years. Maybe someone will tell me what it is and I really hope they will tell me about some nasty chemical that will kill it.  It looks like an ancient plant that has been around since the Paleozoic Era.

Here is what I have learned about it after three years of battle: 1) It thinks that Round-up is a new kind of plant food. 2) It laughs in the face of Cross-bow. 3) Hoeing or pulling doesn't get rid of it because it sends out runners underground and reproduces itself from this underground root system. 4) Think you can go after all the underground roots? Guess again. The roots break easily and I strongly suspect that breaking the roots is like cutting an earthworm in two. Now you have two earthworms.

I do have a battle plan. It came to me this morning as I was digging up huge clumps of earth and painstakingly breaking the clumps apart and fishing out every root. I have boards that define my low lying raised beds with wood chips covering the walk ways between the beds. THE WEED has invaded the beds but they are the thickest in the walkways between the beds. My new plan is to whack down the plants that are above ground and lay down Preen over the wood chips. "If I can keep it from sprouting in the walkways and keep digging it out of the beds, maybe it will be gone in another three years?" she says hopefully.

Neil and I thought of a new business venure. Is there anyone you don't like? We could go plant this in their garden for you. At night, of course. Please pay in advance. :-)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Publicity Portraits Should Not be Boring!

I get to know the most interesting people! Yesterday it was Janie.

Janie Martin is an entertainer. I first met her as a singer with the Salem Big Band a few years back but her singing goes far beyond the big band style. She can croon or belt a song and have a crowd eating out of her hand.

When she contacted me about doing photographs for her new website, I knew that the images had to sell her dynamic personality and the way she comes to life in front of an audience. They had to show how her eyes dance and sparkle. They had to make you sit up and take notice and want to listen to her.

Janie is also a hypnotist! How cool is that? If you need a good hypnotist, be sure to visit her website.

If you want to hear her sing Big Band, you can give her a listen on YouTube.
You can also hear some more recent vocals on her new singing website.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dallas High School Senior Pictures - Meet Shelby... Class of 2011...

I remember doing senior portraits of Shelby's mother, Michelle. She loved taking pictures but hated being in front of the camera and let me know that she was doing this for her mom. I was confident that she would have fun with it once she got warmed up. We did all kinds of poses both inside and out. We even did photographs with her camera. I had a great time.

When we were all done, I asked, "Was that so bad?" She replied, "Yes, yes it was."  I was crestfallen.
Later, I got to know Michelle better and learned that she has a very dry sense of humor and was at least partly teasing me with that reply. Only partly, though. She really doesn't like having a camera pointed at her.

Shelby is another story. She comes to life in front of the camera. With her big eyes and model body, the camera loves her. 

She is going to school and working TWO part time jobs to pay for the love of her life: her BMW! I asked her about some of her favorite things and this is what she had to say:
Fav Color: Purple
Fav Food: Mexican
Fav Drink: Mt. Dew
Fav Music: Rap and Raggae
Fav Movie: Fast Five
Fav TV Show: Kendra
After Shelby graduates she will be going to Chemeketa Community Collage and working (to pay off her car, naturally).

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Make Yourself at Home... Photography and Cookies

Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies...........

There just isn't anything else that says home more than that smell when you walk into the house. Just like a cozy fire on a cold winter night. Makes you think of Grandma's house in a Norman Rockwell painting with the kids running in shouting, "Oh boy, is that cookies, I smell?"

That doesn't mean that I am baking cookies at home every week. When Lars suggests that this would be a great night to bake cookies, I usually say, "Go for it!" That is when we find out just how badly he wants those cookies.

I used to try to evoke that homey feeling by burning scented candles in the studio. Then I found out that Otis Spunkmeyer will provide the oven and baking sheets when you order their dough and I was in heaven. Forget the scented candles! How much better is it to come into the studio to the smell of freshly baked cookies......and you get to eat them, too! They are really, really good cookies and sooooooo easy. They come frozen in little cookie sized blobs so we just take out however many cookies we want to bake at that moment and pop them in the little oven. Sometimes I only bake two cookies!

Do I have a stash at home, you may ask? No. That would be way too tempting. Lars will just need to bake his own cookies.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

West Salem High School Senior Portraits - Congratulations Class of 2011!

The first time I met Laryssa, she was three years old and we did a family portrait out by the family duck pond. It was a perfect October day and the sun was just going down so we had the perfect light: a warm glow skipping across the water giving sparkles to the eyes and wrapping the faces in beautiful, soft light. The spot that we had chosen for the portrait was a little hard to get to, however, and Laryssa's dad donned his boots and gave each of us a piggy back ride through the water to get to the spot. My camera at the time, was a Mamiya RB 67 and weighed a ton so another trip through the water was made to bring the gear. That dedication is a sure sign of a man who loves his family!

A couple of years later, we did dress up portraits of Laryssa in the studio and then, much later (in 2006), another fall family portrait at Helmick Park. (No piggy back rides, this time.) The image on the right is from that session.

Now Laryssa is graduating from West Salem High School and looking forward to attending the University of Miami in Florida next fall with an intended major in French Horn Performance and minor in engineering. I wish I had her love of math and physics!

I asked her about some of her favorite things and this is what she had to say:

Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Food: Ribs (yum!)
Favorite Drink: Thai Tea
Favorite Artist: Hanz Zimmer, the composer with a long list of movie sound track credits including Pirates of the Carribean, Dead Man's Chest.
Favorite Movie: Inception (that is a movie that really plays with your mind!)

And finally, a quote that expresses the central place that music has in her life:

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My favorite Superhero lives in Keizer, Oregon

"Is your favorite superhero the Green Lantern?"
No. I think I'll wait for the movie to come out on DVD.
"How about Batman?"
That would be Gotham City....Guess again.
"Let's go back to a classic. Could it be Superman?"
Oh, I think you are getting warmer....

My favorite superhero is Super Ty. He is a precocious six year old and his mission right now is protecting his new baby brother from mutant monsters, jumping higher than a basketball hoop, and whipping up "out of this world" food in the kitchen with his mom and Tutu.

We had a chance to delve deeper into the character of  the "boy behind the cape" recently and ask him a few questions.This is what he had to tell us:

What is your favorite color? Orange (I wonder if this has anything to do with the OSU Beavers?)
Favorite Food: Bread with jam and butter
Favorite Sport: Basketball
Favorite Toy: Buzz Lightyear's Lazer Beam
Favorite Game: Pokemon Black version and White Version
Favorite TV Show: Pokemon
Favorite Movie: Star Wars
What is something that people would be surprised to know about you?
  • Ty's answer: "I have never eaten Green Eggs and Ham." 
  • Mom's answer: "He loves to bake and help in the kitchen and doesn't like meatloaf."
  • Tutu's answer: "He is very kind and loves animals."

I have been photographing Ty since he was born. He is regular with the children's contest and has come to Portraits with Santa every year (This portrait is from 2008). Every year except this one. Neither of the days that Santa was here at the studio were going to work into the busy family schedule. So Tutu had to resort to taking him to the Woodburn Company Stores to see Santa. There was just one problem.

As they walked into the mall, he looked up at his grandmother with a concerned look and said, "This isn't the real Santa, the real Santa is at Miriam's!" Tutu had to do some fast thinking. "Santa travels all over, Ty." With that reassurance, Ty was fine.

Now we are celebrating Mother's Day and Mom is the Super hero of the hour. Give your Mom and Grandmother a big hug for me, Ty, and a kiss to your baby brother!