[HI. I'M EMILY.]
I'm an editorial style photographer based in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
When I was a kid, I knew I wanted to change the world when I grew up. After graduating high school, I spent most of my gift money on camera gear (so I could pursue my favorite hobby in my free time) and confidently headed off to a pre-med program, with zero doubt in my mind that I could be a pediatric oncologist with an amazing bedside manner.
Because you’re reading this bio on a photography website, it’s safe to say that this story didn’t go the way I thought it would. I’m really glad about that. Somewhere along the way, on my rocky journey towards self-acceptance, I came to understand that while doing the thing I loved doing in my spare time didn’t change the whole world a big, bold way, documenting moments and families was a far deeper and more meaningful pursuit than I had ever given it credit for.
I believe that the most important part of my job is to capture your story and to tell it in a way that makes it undeniably clear to you that your story is special. Because it is. My favorite part about the time I spend with my clients is having this job where I get this special window into their lives. I ask questions about hopes and dreams and goals and love. It’s awesome.
I have never been a ‘large posed portrait over the fireplace’ type of photographer. I used to feel the pressure to create that image for clients, and always felt as though I fell short with the somewhat messier reality of the portraits I created. But real life is a little bit messy, and those ‘real’ moments are the ones I want to preserve. Most people have a ‘picture day’ smile. And, when we look at pictures of our loved ones, we know the difference between that smile and the real one. When you look at your portraits, what is really truly important to me on photo day is that you have fun together. And that when you look back on the images from picture day, you see true joy, and you remember the fun you had. Take a look at an old picture. What memories immediately pop into your head? Because as weird as it sounds, that is a really important aspect of your pictures.
When I photograph couples, I almost always ask what brought them together, and what they first noticed about each other. Most of the time, partners seem surprised by each other’s responses, and I get to see this unexpected burst of ‘new love’ level emotion. And I always ask about first dates and marriage proposals. Some are hilarious, many involve a lot of the “real life” moments that you never see in rom-coms, but the story always leads to the wedding day that I get to photograph.
When I chat with high school seniors during their portrait sessions, I am often inspired by the amazing ways that they want to change the world. And, when I encounter that senior who goes pale when I ask what their goals are, I love getting to tell them that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life even after completing a college degree program, and that it’s OK not to know yet. There is still plenty of time to figure out how to change the world.
And, in closing, since this is the “about me” bio portion…
I live in Albany, Oregon with this great guy named Steven, our daughters Rose & Sonia, and our four cats - Kitty Kitty, Rufus, Oscar, and Doozer. We’re a messy, imperfect bunch, but we make a pretty great team.