Playing with Darkness & Light
I am in love with Portland in the fall. This fall is especially magical. I swear the colors are more vivid this year than last. The sky, the trees and their leaves, the water—even the clouds vary their depth and shade. There’s no better time for a photo shoot.
Erika Clemens of Notes of Nostalgia, and I set out on a fall photo shoot this past Sunday. She needed some new images for her vintage home design, lifestyle & music website, and I needed a break from my office.
When we began talking about a portrait session a few weeks ago, I knew exactly where I wanted to go. Laurelhurst Park in SE Portland is the perfect spot for timeless images with an enchanted touch. A good portion of the grassy area receives light filtered through the leaves of a huge canopy of trees. When their color changes with the season, the light shifts making both the subjects and the setting look surreal—almost as if they are part of a painting.
The park has paved walking paths lined with vintage streetlamps that wind through trees, past picnic tables, and around a duck pond offering a variety of settings for a single shoot. Best of all, even if the sun isn’t out in its full glory, as can sometimes happen here in Portland, the leaves filter whatever light strikes them, turning what would otherwise be a drab shoot into something that looks more like a vivid Van Gogh landscape painting. You are guaranteed to see a little Van Gogh in some of the following shots.
Erika is one of my favorite people. She’s a rare gem. She’s young in age, but undeniably an old soul and style. She’s smart, creative but brainy, and thoughtful and intuitive, yet professional and to the point when needed. Erika is my go to when I need to talk shop about writing, SEO, business or how the heck to convert my garage/storage space into a spa-like yoga studio—so I wanted to give her shots that would represent her diverse and eclectic skillset well.
A perfectly picked outfit that included a Goorin Brothers floppy hat and some super cute deep red velvety pants set the tone for our morning outing. Erika channeled her 70’s vibe while I chased the light. The wind was moving clouds across the sun, which gave incredible depth to each shot. The light and shadows played with the colors on the ground and in Erika’s outfit, and though she warned me she might be an awkward model, I have to say…the whole session was incredibly natural, fun, and extra creative. A pretty fantastic way to kick off a Sunday.
My viewfinder told me we had grabbed some fantastic shots, but once I got the images in Lightroom, I knew editing was going to be easy and fun. To be honest, there was very little work to be done on these shots. I enjoyed playing with themes of light and dark—it is fall after all! However, for the most part, minimal tweaking took place.
If you want to see which shots Erika fell in love with (or pick up some cool home décor tips, or ideas for your fall music playlist), keep an eye on her blog. The following images are my favorite shots from our fall portrait photo shoot. After you check them out, get outside and make the most of the last days of this beautiful season! You never know how long it will last. You can see additional photos here.