Christina + Mark // Maternity Session in Bend, Oregon

"I can't really put into words what I'm looking for... but something that looks like natural poses without actually being overly posed. What we are looking for during this shoot is something a bit different. I don't like cliche poses. I want this shoot to capture our fun loving relationship and be as natural as can be while capturing the deep love we already have for our little guy."

Mission. Accomplished.

Christina and Mark were troopers. They'd picked out a spot for their maternity shoot ahead of time, but of course Mother Nature doesn't always cooperate. The temps dropped to below 50, and then it even started to rain a bit.

But they didn't care. They nuzzled, whispered wishes for their baby's future, and spoke aloud the many things they loved about each other.

And the magical moments unfolded before my camera. Click. Wow.

Check out a few highlights from this maternity session below:

Christina + Mark had come to me wanting a few photos to hang on the wall of their nursery. They left with the photos they'd desired... and a few beloved memories.

A sample canvas wall art display, showcasing a few of their favorite images. My clients can "try before they buy" to ensure their wall art is the perfect fit for their home.

A sample canvas wall art display, showcasing a few of their favorite images. My clients can "try before they buy" to ensure their wall art is the perfect fit for their home.

Interested in a maternity session or another photo session of your own? Contact me to get started!

Happy National Puppy Day from The Suitcase Studio!

As a lifestyle photographer here in Bend, Oregon, I love to capture photos of my daily life.

And if you've been following The Suitcase Studio for a while over on Instagram or Facebook, you may have noticed that pictures of my DOG seem to pop up QUITE a bit!

That's cuz Jasper is a HUGE part of my life. He's my sidekick. My favorite little buddy. My pain in the butt and my constant clown. He's been by my side during celebratory moments, and has also licked my salty tears when I'm down.

I couldn't have asked for a better companion, and I'm so very glad he's a part of my life.

I'm sure I have thousands of photos of him from over the years, but this one is STILL one of my faves.  I mean, c'mon... who can resist a dapper little dude in a bowtie?

Dapper dachshund in bowtie, photographed by Bend, OR lifestyle photographer The Suitcasee Studio

Dapper dachshund in bowtie, photographed by Bend, OR lifestyle photographer The Suitcasee Studio

twinning it up // fun family photos in California

This family lights up my heart SOOOO much. I've been photographing them for over 4 years now, and it's been fun to watch the girls as they grow. And add a PUPPY to the mix, and I was in HEAVEN!

We decided to take photos at Shoreline Park in Long Beach, which not only provided a GOOORGEOUS backdrop (hel-LO ligthhouse!), but gave the puppy (and the GIRLS) pleeeeenty of space to run around and play. And roll down grassy hills. And jump off benches. And all the other stuff that kids WANT to do outside. (FREEEEEDOOOM!!!)

And so, we played. And I chased. And ran up hills right alongside them. And played Simon Says. And "find the man named Bob that lives inside my camera." And all other sorts of hilarious stuff that made the girls (and their fathers) giggle and laugh and have a GOOD TIME.

Here are a few of my favorite moments captured that afternoon. I hope you'll love them as much as I do!

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If your heart is SMILING, let me know! Leave a comment below or, even better, CONTACT ME for a photo session of your OWN!

Superhero for a Day // WonderCon 2013

I was 8 years old. Wearing my Strawberry Shortcake plastic apron and hot-as-heck mask with the elastic bands and barely-there mouth hole (children of the 70s/80s... you KNOW what I'm talking about), but I wasn't simply wearing a costume. I WAS Strawberry Shortcake. For a few short hours on Halloween night, my pretend world became real, and I was her. It was the ultimate expression of what I loved and who I really wanted to be. As I grew older, and it became less acceptable to play in the pretend world, my toys and dolls were regulated to their shelves. Stuffed animals stayed on my bed a bit longer, but even they eventually got put away. I still decorated my notebooks with Hello Kitty stickers (because that form of expression was still "okay"), but most of the land of make-believe got left behind.

But I still looked forward to Halloween each year, because only then could I dress up and PLAY like I used to when I was a kid.

Till now...

Last weekend I took a trip to the Anaheim Convention Center, although for all intents and purposes I might as well have been on another planet.

Surrounded my space aliens, superheroes and cartoon characters alike, it was definitely a geek's paradise. And I loved every moment of it.

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Welcome to WonderCon. For those of you who haven't ever heard of WonderCon before, don't worry. You're not alone.

WonderCon is like the kid sister of Comic-Con (which is the mother-ship of all geekdom). Here's the scoop: Comic-Con is a 4-day spectacle of everything comic, cartoon and pop-culture, including panels of actor interviews, sneak peeks at upcoming movies and tv shows, and a humongous tradeshow. But tickets are known to sell out within 15 minutes (no joke), so not everyone gets to play. So the people who operate Comic-Con did something pretty brilliant... offer smaller versions of the event at various locations throughout different times of the year.

Enter WonderCon. Now in it's second year at the Anaheim Convention Center, there are talks of making this a permanent annual event. (woohoo!) Yes, the tradeshow is nice, and some of the panels are pretty spectacular (Joss Whedon was there this year), but my favorite part of it all are the costumes!

It's like Halloween. On crack.

No, you don't have to dress up, but it's definitely encouraged. And applauded. The world of cosplay is pretty amazing like that.

So, this is me. As a steampunk version of Iron Man. (Costume designed by my husband and created by my mother-in-law. Yeah... they kinda rock like that.)

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My husband (Tony) also got into the fun, dressed as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. (Most of this costume was also created from scratch by his mother.)

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And then... we PLAYED. Tony and I met up with friends of ours (also in Marvel-universe steampunk costumes) and simply wandered the lobby area, enjoying the spectacle. (And many, many thanks to Tony, for tag-teaming the camera with me... to ensure that I actually ended up IN some photos for a change...ha!)

(Deadpool, Iron Man, Lady Deathstrike, another Deadpool and Wolverine)

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(And Jack Sparrow, of course...)

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There were plenty of pirates to go around.

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And I found other members of my Avengers team... and nemesis Loki, as well.

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There were also lots of other people there in Iron Man costumes, as well. WonderCon2013 73.jpg

But none as cute as THIS kid, dressed as Tony Stark!

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I headed back outside just in time to capture this fantastic photo-op... sooooo many costumed characters from the DC Universe posing all together. The rows of photographers lined up to get these shots were 10 people deep, so rather than wait behind them all for a glance at the scene, I wedged into the sidelines and shot from where I was.

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But I got lucky. The person running the show spotted me in costume with my camera, and waved me over to the FRONT  of the group of photographers, and gave me a dead-center position!!! Which is how I got this shot below, as well as the first one in this blog post.

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Words cannot express how much FUN this day was. So I'll let my photos do the talking for a bit...

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Captain Hammer, Dr. Horrible and a person from the Bad Horse Chorus (Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog)

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Plenty of players from the Star Wars universe

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Cosplayers from the Batman world

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Misc. others

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And, of course, lots of Disney characters. How CUTE is this father/daughter dressed as Wreck-It-Ralph and Penelope Von Schweetz???

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And a few personal favorites of mine... My Little Pony characters.

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Wolverine and Wolverine. Too, too adorable!!!

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Note to parents: this is a kid-friendly place, and makes for fantastic entertainment at a low-low cost. Meaning, it's FREE. While tickets to actually get into the tradeshow and panel area do cost a little bit (and are known to sell out ahead of time, as I learned the hard way), the front and lobby area of the Anaheim Convention Center are open to the public for free. And this is where the people in costume spend most of their time.

I highly recommend putting this on your radar for next year. I know I'll be there... dressed and ready to PLAY.


Click here to see even MORE pictures from the day.


Confession time: My pants are snug. Even the stretchy ones. I recently tore my favorite pair of jeans across the thigh when squatting down in them. I'm dreading the shopping trip to try to find something to replace them. I don't have good knees to begin with, but they are getting worse. The snapping and popping sounds they make as I move are louder than a bowl of rice krispies...