Veterans Day Giveaway!
To show my appreciation to veterans, I’m giving away a 30-minute photo session voucher! It can be used for headshots, couples, or family portraits.
As a daughter and granddaughter of veterans, I appreciate their service and sacrifice. The sacrifice of their time to protect us and be away from friends and family. I also firmly believe the families of our veterans serve as well – they provide the support for our veterans to go do their job. Spouses become single parents and take on all of the household chores. Parents and siblings watch them go off to uncertain danger and provide support via letters and care packages. These are just a few ways the families serve and support their loved ones as they serve our country.
How to Enter
To enter the drawing, follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook @UhaczPhotography and comment on where you did your basic training or nominate a veteran by tagging them in your comment. Enter to win before Noon on November 30, 2021.
To all of the veterans, I thank you for all you did! You are appreciated every day.
Important Notes: There is a limit to one entry per person. The voucher is not transferrable. The winner must be in the Vancouver, WA/Portland Metro area or Seaside, Oregon area or willing to travel to one of these areas for the photo session at their own expense.
#VeteransDay2021 #GiveAway #GiveAwayAlert #ThankYouVeterans #PortraitSession #FamilyPhotographer #Portraits #Headshots #FamilyPhotography #PortraitPhotography #PNW #PNWphotographer #Veterans #Veteran #VeteransDay #USMilitary #USNavy #NavyVeteran #MilitaryFamily #ThankAVet #USVeterans #SaluteToService #UhaczPhotography #VancouverWA #PDX
Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge – Checking In
For my birthday this year, I told my husband I wanted a trip to Timberline Lodge. Despite all the years I’ve lived in the area, I have never been to the lodge. He surprised me by booking a 2-night stay at the end of September. It is a fairly short drive from the Portland Metro Area, and you are rewarded with amazing views and hiking trails.
On a Friday afternoon, we packed the car and headed off for our mini staycation. The skies were clear and the temperatures were mild. We turned off Highway 26 to take the windy road up to the lodge and noticed the air getting a little crispier as we climbed higher. Timberline Lodge is rustic with modern amenities, including a pool and hot tub. It is also famous thanks to Stephen King and The Shining.
Bags Dropped – Time to Explore!
Once we checked in, we headed to our room to drop off our bags. Our room was on the 2nd floor and had a lovely view facing south. We made a dinner reservation at the lodge restaurant and then headed outside to explore the nearby trails. Out the back door of the lodge, you get the majestic view of Mt. Hood. There is a lovely patio with chairs, corn hole, and has several hiking trails and walking paths that are easily accessible.
We had an early dinner and then headed out to walk the grounds and catch the sunset. The colors were so vibrant. It was very peaceful watching the sun setting in the quiet of nature.
Sunrise – Hiking – Sunset, Oh My
Saturday morning brought an amazing sunrise. We got up early just to catch it. I took a moment to grab some coffee – because sunrise is early – and then we headed out to the back patio. We grabbed chairs and took a few minutes to sit in the crisp morning air to watch the beauty of the sunrise. Once the sun was up and the colors fading into the day, we went in for breakfast. The menu is full of dishes using local fresh ingredients.
After breakfast, we decided to go for a hike. We picked Mirror Lake down in Government Camp. We were able to buy a park pass from the front desk at the lodge. I then grabbed my camera, bottles of water, the park pass, and headed out. It was a nice hike, with good elevation gain but worth the view when you got to the lake. Mt. Hood reflecting in the lake is picturesque.
After the hike, we enjoyed lunch at a local pub in Government Camp before heading back to the lodge. We took advantage of the nice weather and hit the pool and hot tub. It felt great after the hike! Once we cleaned up from playing in the pool, we enjoyed the sunset views while we had dinner.
On Sunday morning, we again enjoyed the sunrise and crisp air before breakfast. After breakfast, we took one last walk around the property before heading back to reality. It was a short trip, but we left feeling completely relaxed and refreshed.
Best Part of Staycation
For me, the best part of the staycation was exploring the area I live in a little better. And, the travel time was also a bonus–less than 2 hours in the car and it is a completely different world. Of course, I also loved being able to find great spots for future photo sessions and future hikes!
#Staycation #Photography #LandscapePhotography #FamilyPortraits #MountHood #MtHood #TimberlineLodge #Hiking #MirrorLake #PNW #Travel #Adventures #Explore #GetOutdoors #VancouverWA #PDX
Why is Fall the Perfect Time for Family Photos?
As fall approaches, we notice the air is just a little crisper in the mornings and the sun is setting a little earlier each night. Kids have started a new school year and there is a general excitement in the air for new beginnings. And, maybe you still have sun-kissed skin from enjoying time outdoors this summer. Now is the perfect time to think about getting updated family portraits. They are great for sending in annual holiday cards or as gifts to family members.
Why Work with a Photographer?
You may be asking yourself, ‘why pay someone to take our family picture when we can do a selfie?’ So many reasons! Here are just a few reasons highlighting the benefits of working with a photographer:
What Does a Photo Session with Me Look Like?
So glad you asked! When I get an inquiry about a photoshoot, I like to schedule a call to ask some questions:
After the initial call, I will prepare a contract to lock in the date and time for your shoot. If we need a follow-up call, we will schedule that a few days before the session. On the day of your shoot, I will meet you at the location and we will chat to get everyone comfortable and then start the fun!
Your photos will be sent to you in an online gallery about 2-3 weeks after our photoshoot together. They will be available for downloading and you will also have an option to order prints from a professional printing lab.
So, Now What?
Are you interested in learning more about my availability and Covid safety protocols? Let’s chat!
#familyportraits #family #portraits #familyphotos #blendedfamilies #bonusmom #bonusdad #siblings #familyphotography#familyphotographers #familysessions #pnwphotography #familyphoto #familysession #familypictures #familytime #familygoals #PNW #pnwphotographer #vanwa #vancouverWA #PDX #UhaczPhotography #CovidSafety #vancouverphotographer
Celebrating the Class of 2022!
Senior year! So many emotions for the high schooler and their parents. It’s been a long time coming and now it is finally the last year of high school. You want to capture that moment-your child’s last year of school before becoming an adult and for the student it is their last hoorah before their next adventure.
You may not be sure how to start the process of finding a photographer or how to choose a photographer in your area. Google can be your friend to try and find a local photographer, but I recommend taking a couple of extra steps before picking one. Select two or three photographers and check their websites to see if you like their style of photography, determine if they shoot at a location you want (like the coast, on a hiking trail, urban setting, etc.), then look at their pricing packages. Once you have decided on a couple of photographers, I recommend scheduling a quick call to make sure you like the photographer. It is important to have a good rapport with the photographer so the student feels comfortable with the process.
When I work with seniors, I encourage them to bring personal items like a skateboard, musical instrument, etc. something that is meaningful for them and portrays this time of their life. Also, I ask them to bring their favorite shirt or hat to change into to get a couple of different pictures. Let’s get the photos they will love and images their parents will love, even if they aren’t the same photo.
I can help capture this special moment for you to remember for years to come. From traditional headshots for the yearbook to fun pictures that highlight the personality of the senior. As an adult I love looking back at my yearbook and remembering the good times.
For the parents, I invite them to join in for a special photo with their senior. It’s an opportunity for all to remember the special time. Capturing the moment in time for them and their child. These also make great gifts for grandparents and for the senior.
We have some beautiful areas in the PNW from Vancouver to the Oregon Coast. From hiking to chilling on the sand, I’ve got you covered! Interested in scheduling a consultation to discuss your photo session? I would love to hear from you.
#seniorportraits #seniorpictures #classof2022 #senioryear #seniors #seniorpics #highschool #photographer #portraits #seniorphotography #schoolpictures #PNW #VancouverWA #VanWA #SeasideOregon #OregonCoast #portraitphotography #portraitphotographer #modernsenior #UhaczPhotography
What is Branding?
Branding is a combination of the image and reputation of you or your company. It is what comes to mind when clients and potential clients hear your name, which includes your logo, color scheme, and if you have quality products or services. Think of Target, Starbucks, and Amazon. Each of these companies has a strong brand. You probably were able to quickly recall their logos, colors, and the quality of their products and or services.
Miriam Webster defines “brand” as:
1) a public image, reputation, or identity conceived of as something to be marketed or promoted,
2) a class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer,
3) a characteristic or distinctive kind.
What is Branding Photography?
Branding photography is the taking of professional images designed to showcase your business, from headshots to products images. The images tell the story of how you solve your client’s problem(s) either through services or products. The photographs may be used on the business’s website, marketing materials, LinkedIn and other social media platforms.
Why Branding Images are Important?
In today’s world, social media plays a central role for many people to showcase their brand. Websites are also a key way for your clients and potential clients to learn more about you. Branding photos are a way to represent you and your business to those clients and future clients. It is a way to introduce yourself to them. The pictures will help you tell your story and help you stand out. It is vital to be consistent in your messaging and color scheme so the pictures match your brand.
I recently did a branding photoshoot with a local real estate agent. She wanted new headshots because it had been a few years since her last one was taken and she wanted something different. She didn’t want the old-school standard headshot but rather photos that showcased more of her personality. During our consultation call, we discussed the details about how she would use the images and what exactly she wanted to showcase. She LOVES dogs and is a fur mom of two little guys. I encouraged her to bring one to the shoot, the other guy is older and doesn’t get around very well anymore. She also loves her city and supporting local businesses. The shots we did included a few casual headshots and lifestyle images around town with and without her dog. She now has a variety of pictures to use on her website and social media.
Showcase YOU in your Business.
In 2020, with so much remote work, we learned that our pictures used in business are very important for connecting with our audience, from peers to clients. A headshot for your LinkedIn profile or website is not just a picture; it is part of your brand. It can show your confidence, your openness, or fierceness.
So what message is your headshot conveying? Does it match your brand? If not, it’s time to reevaluate your headshot.
Contact me if you are interested in learning more about branding photography and scheduling a session.
Nathan and Rebeka did not let Covid keep them from saying “I Do!” It may not have been how they originally hoped to have their wedding, but they had a lovely time celebrating their special day with a small group aboard the Portland Spirit. Their wedding shows that love is the key ingredient for your wedding day, everything else is a bonus.
The bride had her hair and makeup done by Legendary Makeup & Hair. It was soft and lovely, the perfect look for Rebekah!
A lot of couples will do a ‘first look’ photo session. It is wonderful to catch the moment the groom sees his bride for the first time in a private moment before the ceremony. Some couples prefer to have the first look moment as the bride walks down the aisle to meet her soon-to-be spouse. Nathan planned to assist Rebekah with her dress so they would not be having the traditional first look. I was able to capture the special moments of the groom helping his bride with her dress and the bride helping her groom with his final touches before the ceremony. Such an intimate moment for this couple and I’m so glad that I was able to capture that for them.
A simple ceremony took place with a best man and matron of honor standing with Nathan and Rebekah. The officiant was a close friend of the groom. Because they got married on the Portland Spirit, there wasn’t an aisle to walk down. There were some laughs and serious moments as they exchanged their vows.
As the Portland Spirit made its way down the river, the bride and groom said their vows, sealed them with a kiss, and toasted with friends and family. They enjoyed a delicious dinner, conversation, and music while toasting the bride and groom.
It was a beautiful evening! I’m so happy that I was able to capture this special day for them.
Preparing for the Day’s Outing
The weather can change fast from one part of town to another in the spring, so we knew we had to be extra prepared for the weather to change out in the gorge. We packed our water, snacks, jackets to layer, and our Discover Pass. Tip: If you don’t have a pass yet, you can stop at one of the local shops on your way out to Lyle and buy one. Just bring cash since they don’t take credit cards when buying the pass.
When I went to pack my camera gear, I was over excited and packed way too much. But in my defense, it was my first trip out to the site and I wanted to make sure I had what I needed. I mean, I had several lenses, reflectors, extra batteries, and a second camera body. Just in case! Lesson learned. Next time, I’ll just grab my Nikon D750, extra battery pack, and go!
Hiking Groups Save the Day
I guess one big reason why I never made it out to this spot before was that I had no idea where it was located. But hiking groups on social media help us track down the location. It was so easy to find once you knew where to look it was almost embarrassing. Surprisingly it isn’t far off the road but when you see some of the images, you expect a big hike in order to be rewarded with the sight. Thanks to fellow hikers who shared notes about where to pick up the trail and instructions to easily find it.
I’ve seen photos of this car in the field more than a dozen times and each image is a little different. A different angle, time of day, or cropping makes the image unique. In fact, my husband and I were both taking photos on the same day, at the same time, and we ended up with completely different images with a different feel.
The photos usually circulated with this spot is one of the pretty wildflowers and in color. When I see this car and the setting, I immediately picture it in my head in winter with brooding skies, tall grass (no wildflower), and in black/white. I am definitely coming back this fall or winter to see what kind of images I can make in a different season.
How Are You Spending Your Spring?
Did you know spring is also a great time to get updated family photos? I’m open for bookings and always up for an adventure. From the coast to the mountains, where do you want your family photos? Let’s chat about booking your photoshoot!
Your Engaged! Now What?
February is the month of love and before it ends there will be a lot of newly engaged couples. To all of you, I say congratulations! This is an exciting time, even if we are still dealing with a pandemic that is altering how we celebrate such events. For all of you happy couples, once the YES has been exclaimed you start realizing that there are a lot of questions. Hopefully, this blog will help get you started.
First things, first. Get that timeline started.
One of the first questions you will be asked once you announce your engagement is “do you have a date yet”? That is the tip of the iceberg of questions, but one that is important for planning and helping to frame your special day. Picking a date isn’t just about grabbing a calendar and randomly selecting a date–at least not for most people.
Several factors that you will want to think about to help with picking a date are 1) how big will your wedding be, 2) if you have a specific venue in mind, what is the availability, and 3) are you using an event planner to help with the planning or handling on your own.
Vendors – So many vendors, so little time
The next most frequently asked question seems to be “do you have a dress yet”? Some say the dress can set the tone of the wedding and find it helpful to at least have a general idea of the type of dress you want to guide decisions about flowers, cake, and décor at the ceremony and reception venue. Before hiring vendors, it is good to get a general idea of the style you want. With Pinterest and Google Images, it is easy to create a vision board for what you and your fiancé would like for your wedding. This helps clarify what you both want (rustic country, classic romance, or steampunk) from the venue, invitations, flowers, to table settings.
Once you have a general idea of what you want your wedding to look like and a date set, I recommend you start researching vendors and check reviews. Referrals from friends are always great when you can get them. Remember that this is your special day and just because someone gave you a referral, you don’t have to use them if you don’t click with them. Before reaching out to vendors, have a list of questions to ask ready to make sure you fully understand their pricing, scope of work, availability, and experience.
As you look at photographers for your wedding, I recommend you ask if they also do an engagement photo session. An engagement photo session is a nice way to capture your special time before the wedding while also allowing you time to work with the photographer to build a rapport making you more comfortable on your wedding day. (I still have our engagement photo on the wall and just love it!)
Planning – Going it solo or with a planner.
There are a lot of planning tools available on-line if you have decided to plan the wedding on your own, below are a couple of links I found for you. (Please note I am not endorsing any of these but merely providing resources to help you start your journey.)
The Knot: Planning Template
Zola: Planning Guide
Martha Stewart Weddings: Planning Guide
Some venues have a day-of-event coordinator. (Add that to your list of questions for the venue.) They may be a great resource for you. However, they generally do an overview and not the very detailed help with making sure all of the little details are handled and the day run smoothly. If you don’t want to ask a family member to be your day-of help with the timeline to make sure everything flows effortlessly, you can hire a day-of coordinator.
If you are looking for an event planner to help with the entire wedding or just assist with the details on the day of your wedding, you can do a Google search for your local area. Recommendations from your vendors (venue, florist, etc.) or friends is another great way to find a list of planners to choose from. (I know a great event planner if you are looking for one. She’s an accredited Certified Meeting Planner and an awesome person. Reach out if you want a referral!)
Planning a wedding, big or small, can feel overwhelming. This should be a fun time for you and your fiancé but there will be times that you need to remember to just stop and take a deep breath. Self-care is key as weddings are special and fun but can also be very stressful planning and getting up to the alter. I recall my wedding day (and all the stress planning it). The day went by so fast and it was hard to visit with everyone. To this day, I’m so happy we had an amazing photographer to capture our day. We look back at our album and photos fairly regularly and it sparks a fun memory for us. Some of our family members are no longer with us, so the photos are extra special.
#WeddingPlanning #WeddingChecklist #WeddingPhotographer #WeddingPhotos #WeddingDay #Bride #Groom#Engaged! #VancouverWA #UhaczPhotography
Communication – A Cornerstone to Successful Relationships
There are so many reasons why communication is so important, not only in marriage but when working with clients on a photoshoot. In this case, my husband was my client and we really tested the ‘for better or worse’ part of our vows! LOL! All kidding aside it was an interesting lesson. In general, we are pretty even-keeled and don’t argue but on this fateful day in November, we locked horns. Okay, not real horns but you get the idea. We were both adamant about what needed to be done and getting more frustrated with each other.
We can laugh about it now. In fact, it was my husband who suggested it as the topic for my next blog. He said it is funny now but wasn’t at the time. He has always wanted to work together on a business venture, so this was an interesting preview if we ever go down that path.
I blame fudge–yes, that’s right…fudge. Not for needing to do extra crunches but for causing the argument.
On this day we had two different visions for the photoshoot. He wanted some fun shots of his fudge to make a little recipe book. He said, “you know…just use your phone.” And, of course, if you ask me to take photos for a recipe book, I’m getting out the lights, backdrops, tripod, and my Nikon D750. Let’s do this!
We each thought the other was on the same page for the photos, but we couldn’t have been further from it.
I was busy fussing over the set-up, fixing the backdrop, moving ingredients around to balance color, etc., and of course, the lighting is critical. I was getting frustrated with the little things that can make or break a photo. Ugh…this was tough. He just wanted to have fun and be done. He wanted them to look nice but didn’t have the patience needed to get everything set up and stage the product (in this case, the fudge he made). He wanted shots of the process of the fudge being made, then cut, and final product. If you haven’t made fudge, let me tell you that it can take a while to make and then to cool enough to cut. After taking all day working on the shoot, he wasn’t having fun anymore.
Oh, the Things We Learned
No matter who you are working with, it is so important to clearly lay out the expectations and timeline. Discuss how long the shoot will take (realistic expectations) and what is needed to get the shoot done (product shoot or family sessions). If you have a 1-hour session, the clock doesn’t stop for outfit changes or moving the product around to set up a shot. If you want a specific pose, let the photographer know in advance. If you have a specific vision in mind, talk with the photographer in advance. Your vision may be for ‘light and airy’ photos but the location and time of day may not work for that and may even end up with a ‘moody’ feel. Don’t wait until the day of the shoot to communicate with your photographer. This will make your photo shoot go smoothly and be a success!
#Photograper #PortraitPhotography #VancouverWA #Communication #KeyToSuccess #PNWphotography #VancouverPhotographer #LifeLessons #UhaczPhotogaphy #FamilyPhotographer #SmallBusiness
Thankful for All of My Work Experience
Being thankful. This seems like an easy topic for November, right? Yes, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth writing about. Sometimes you need distance from a situation to get clarity. In my professional career, I’ve transitioned from one administrative position to another. All basically lateral moves to a new area. For instance, I’ve worked in a variety of departments such as marketing, attorney recruiting, and as an executive assistant/coordinator. To say I’ve learned a lot about a wide variety would be accurate. To say I’ve mastered any of these positions would be inaccurate. Don’t get me wrong, I was very good at all of these jobs. But at the end of the day, I’m a Jill of All Trades and Master of None. That didn’t bother me for a long time because I enjoy learning new things. But recently I’ve felt that it has hampered my long-term career growth. It’s great to pick up new skills, but if you always go with the flow of where you are needed you are not taking control of your own career.
But you are a photographer you say. Well yes, I’ve pivoted in that direction and all of my office skills are coming into play for running my business. I still have so much to learn but it is on my own terms. I’m driving my career boat and not floating downstream. There are many talented photographers out in the world and my skill level isn’t the same as those who have been shooting for many years. (Yet!) Is it risky to try this path–yes! Am I excited, and maybe a little nervous, about taking control of my own path–absolutely! For now, I still do freelance office work but again it is on my terms, doing the type of work that I enjoy and find to be challenging and stimulating.
Know Your Limits and Pay the Experts
I see a lot of new photographers asking in social media groups about taxes and if they should form and LLC or do sole proprietorship for their business, etc. I cannot stress enough how important it is to know your limits and to pay the experts! When I decided to go down the path of starting a photography business, I knew that I did not want to take chances of messing up any paperwork. So, I hired an attorney (Horenstein Law Group) to help me with my LLC formation and it was worth the price for the peace of mind to know it was done correctly. I also have an accountant (Shields Tax). My husband and I have used them for years for our personal taxes. Before forming my business, I met with our accountant to go over all of my tax questions. Everyone’s situation is unique and each state has different laws. Trust the experts and pay their fees. Welcome to business ownership – it takes a village.
Many photographers struggle with their own pricing and will seek input from peers. The community responds with ‘know your worth and charge for your expertise’ I say the same for taxes and legal questions! We need to support experts in their field and be willing to pay for their expertise, just as we ask our own clients to pay for our expertise. And, it is also a great networking opportunity.
How Has Networking Helped Me
So many people believe the sole goal of networking is to get clients and future work. In my opinion, that couldn’t be more wrong. Networking is meant to be an opportunity for people to meet and become referral sources for each other. That may look like paid client work or helping to spread the word about a job opening at an organization, or an opportunity to volunteer in the community. It is a two-way street.
This pivot of mine into photography has been helped tremendously by my network. I’m finding other like-minded individuals who want to support each other on their journey. I’m so lucky. I will be the first to admit I have a lot to learn in the photography business but I know I also have a lot to offer. There are many who see other photographers as competitors and do not want to help them grow. I’ve found an amazing group of ladies (Viewpoint Collaborative) who are all about lifting each other up, helping them grow, and supporting each other’s journey. It’s nice to have this group not to mention that it is great to be able to refer clients. Interested in scheduling a photo session with your newborn or do a boudoir session? I know some great ladies who specialize in those areas and have no problem referring them. Networks are important. Always be authentic and open.
At the end of the day, I’m so thankful for the road that led me here. Where will this new path take me? I’m not sure but I’m really excited for the journey!
#Photographer #PNWphotography #Portraits #VancouverWA #VancouverPhotographer #SeniorPictures #FamilyPortraits #ProfessionalDevelopment #Thankful #Network #LifeLessons #Goals #BigDreams #TakingAction #UhaczPhotography #OfficeSkills
I'm a Vancouver, WA photographer focusing on portraits and have a love of travel!