my story

I’m looking at you.
And I love what I see.

I’m a  lifestyle portrait photographer for beautifully messy, miraculously complicated, ferociously loving couples & families. The kind that don’t own matching black turtlenecks — and prefer cookie batter & cuddle piles to chin-on-knuckles yearbook poses.

I’ve been capturing real life through my camera since the harrowing maelstrom of hormones we call “high school.” And for the past six years, I’ve been the Head Mama & Master Decision-maker at my very own Portland-based photography business, She Saw Things.

There’s a lot I could tell you — about my two gorgeous children (one with Autism, one with Not-ism), about my husband (a profoundly loving beer-aficionado sweetheart I dug up on, about the peach blossoms that fell through the window of my childhood home, about the delicate art of pricing … your Art.

But let’s start with the basics: body ink, bad movies, grief & giggles.

: I have nine tattoos — most of which are reserved for my husband’s private viewing. No peeking.

: I once dreamed of becoming a marriage & family therapist. In some ways, that dream came true — except my clients sprawl out in front of my camera, ‘stead of on a couch.

: Bad movies, long flights & dull conversations make me fidgety & grumbly.

: I have grieved — that deep, transformative kind of grief that unravels your identity, and leaves you reborn. Caring for my mother during the last days of her life was my great awakening. I am who I am, because I was there — loving her.

: I’ve only ever wanted to be two things: a mom & an artist. I’m both — and it’s beautiful, exhausting, and mystifying, at times. My oldest, Zoë, is a magnificent little girl with her own lens on the world. And my youngest, Sam, is a special-needs kid who falls on the deeply affected end of the Autism spectrum. Giving each of my kids the nourishment, care & attention they need is a challenge — because their needs are very different. I know what it takes to run a business, a household, and serve up enough love for everyone under my roof. I know that I’m not the Mary Poppins-esque mom I thought I’d be. But I know that I’m more than enough.

: I am fiercely determined to fully experience, appreciate & enjoy this life I’ve been given.  And I’m giggling, more often than not.

: My hair is curly — we’re talking absurdist, swirling, modern-art installation madness. I fantasize about starting a Morning Hair Photo-blog. There’s gotta be an audience for curls.

: If there was a hugging Olympics, I’d be the undefeated champion. Perfect 10s, across the board. USA! USA!

: I have a really naughty sense of humor. But we’ll get to that, later.

: I fall in love, fast & hard, over & over — with my work. With my clients. With my family. With my choices. I’ve learned that life is sloppy, strange, surprising and tough. So we’ve got to feel what we feel, and fall in love with what’s real.

photo by my sweet friend, lilia schwartz


That’s my story — natural, imperfect, and sweet.
More next time we meet.

Speaking of which — when can I come over for pancakes & pillow fights? And photography, too?

Camera’s on me. Smiles are on you.