I am currently on a family vacation to the central California coast, and I have been enjoying leaving the “fancy camera” in my bag. Rather than shooting for perfection in my images, I'm shooting for the freedom to create perfect memories. That being said, of course I couldn't go on vacation without taking SOME photos, so I'm relying mostly on my iPhone camera and my Instagram feed to capture and store images without distracting from the adventure.
This week I will be updating Facebook, Instagram, and the blog with images and memories from our trip with our best friends, the Hillmans (you may already know them from some of my photos and ads!). I will also be taking some more official Megan Henson Photography photos that will surface after we return and I have time to head to my office for post-process.
Today's entry covers our trip driving from Portland down to San Luis Obispo. We did the trip in one and a half days, stopping to visit family in Medford, then continuing on for one long day on the road from Oregon all the way down to San Luis Obispo.
While taking crisp, beautiful, frame-worthy photos every time is basically my goal in life, sometimes that bulky, expensive equipment can get in the way of enjoying some of life’s experiences. Rather than worrying about all the details of setting up the perfect photograph, grabbing a snapshot with my cell phone camera to capture a moment or memory is more than enough to keep me in the game. As a photographer, it’s easy to only experience life behind the lens, but I’m learning how important it is to set the camera aside to make my own memories rather than just capturing them for others.
One of our stops:
Golden Gate Bridge | San Francisco, CA
Enjoying nature and texture. | Golden Gate National Park, San Francisco, CA
I'm a sucker for reflections and capturing them. Jorma was enjoying the view of the Golden Gate Bridge, and I snapped a quick photo of myself and the vista in the reflection of his glasses. I love finding ways to incorporate anything creative in our snapshots. There are lots of little tricks like this one, and we all constantly see them on Facebook/Instagram/etc. I was trying to capture a picture that included the Golden Gate Bridge, but because it was so sunny I couldn't see my photo screen; this was one of those, *click* "I hope I got it" moments. I have been enjoying the freedom from pressure in taking these snapshots for my personal enjoyment. Rather than having to take perfect photos, I can snap whatever I feel like and know that there's no pressure of perfection.
Jorma & Megan, Golden Gate Bridge | San Francisco, CA
Another beautiful break from the road at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk! | Santa Cruz, CA
As our long day on the road came to a close, we stopped to stretch our legs while enjoying the beautiful, scenic drive down Highway 1. While we did take a few moments to grab photos with the "actual camera," my husband, Jorma, snagged this beautiful silhouette of me along the side of the highway with his cell phone.
Megan's Baby Bump (28 Weeks) | HWY 1, CA Coast
After arriving at our destination, we were eager to hit up the beaches the following day. After a quick stop at the farmer's market to grab as much fresh produce as we could carry, we hit up Pismo Beach for a very windy, slightly chilly day enjoying the sand and ocean. Since we are Oregonians, we still swam in the ocean and laid out in the sun, despite the lower temps and brisk wind.
Since Kasey and her family have been coming to San Luis Obispo since Kasey was young, there are lots of things we need to do and see that are part of family tradition. One of these stops was Foster's Freeze in San Luis Obispo, "the original Dairy Queen." While killing a little time and waiting for our ice cream, we took an opportunity to grab a few adorable pics of the kiddos. It can be really funny to ask kids to show you their "happy," or "mad," r "sad" faces--and then, since we have the instant gratification of digital photography, the kids are stoked to see themselves making their faces. It's also a great idea to get the camera "down on their level," so you can get a straight-on angle with your camera/phone. Here are a few shots from our impromptu session while waiting for ice cream:
Maddy, Beth, & Brayden
Maddy, Beth, & Brayden
On day two we ventured to Avila Beach, which made for a much more successful day at the beach. The sun was shining (we all got a little pink), and we all enjoyed being in and out of the ocean for the majority of the day!
Despite plans to head back to the house early, the sun and waves proved too tempting, and we spent several hours lounging, playing, building, and swimming on the beach. We will definitely be making another trip while we are here!
Megan (28 Weeks Pregnant) | Avila Beach, CA
Jorma & Elven Body Surfing | Avila Beach, CA
One thing that has made this photo-venture more exciting and successful was the addition of a water-tight iPhone case. We are able to take our camera out into the ocean for some action shots!
Sending virtual flowers | Love, light & beauty from Cali!
A beautiful event for a beautiful cause.
Flawless founder Janine Francolini and Supermodel Sarah DeAnna (pictured right) teamed up to create an evening devoted to raising money and awareness for the Flawless cause. This event supported the many programs and services The Flawless Foundation provides for children.
The Flawless Foundation works to provide holistic treatments, such as yoga and meditation, for kids with brain based behavioral challenge; Flawless also works with a wide range of children in foster care, juvenile detention, special schools, and psychiatric hospitals. They work to train mental health professionals and educators, along with parents, in evidence based therapies such as Collaborative Problem Solving. The Flawless Foundation also works towards prevention. Also, utilizing tolls like videos, educational panel discussions, and parties, The Flawless Foundation is changing the face of mental illness through events and awareness campaigns.
Along with the Flawless Team, Event Organizer and Model Grace Holland made this evening unforgettable.
Left, Holland preps volunteers from the PDX Society Fashion Design Camp and introduces them to Sarah DeAnna.
The volunteers helped welcome guests and sell raffle tickets for the numerous prizes donated from the generous Portland community of sponsors.
The community in Portland rallying around the Flawless cause is inspiring. The evening's location, Mabel & Zora, provided a beautiful backdrop for the event. Guests browsed the gorgeous racks of clothing and accessories while sipping wine, chatting, and purchasing raffle tickets. The young ladies who volunteered, pictured above with Mabel & Zora Owner/Designer Tiffany Bean, all wore beautiful matching Tiffany Bean dresses.
Megan Henson Photography is proud to be able to partner with positive organizations, like The Flawless Foundation, making a real change in the Portland community and beyond. Being part of this generous and supportive community is an integral part of the heart behind Megan Henson Photography and our commitment to serving those around us.
When I went out to Tygh Valley, Oregon for a lovely little session with Justin and Alyssa, I didn't know I was jumping into an exciting time in their story. The two who first met in 2009 had scheduled a "little family shoot" with their two dogs on Alyssa's family property. Little did Alyssa (or I) know that Justin was already planning on proposing. No, I didn't get to see it, even though the ring was present for the photos. The official proposal happened after our session, and the two are now happily engaged! Alyssa filled me in on the sweet details of their story and Justin's proposal, so I get to share the sweet details along with some gorgeous images from their photo session.
Despite having the ring "at the ready" for a couple weeks, Justin was waiting for the perfect moment to pop the question. Before proposing he'd had the ring with him for a couple weeks; he even had it at our photo session, but the timing just didn't feel right.
Alyssa and Justin met at the little county fair in Wasco county, and she just walked up and started talking to him. They'd known of each other from their circle of friends, but this was their first official meeting. They talked for quite awhile--just small talk. Alyssa explained the rest of the day as follows: He had to go, and I went on about my night. Later on I ran into one of his buddies and he said "Hey pink shirt girl! I think my buddy kinda likes you! Can I give him your number?!" So of course I said yes (who could resist a tall, dark and handsome guy!?).
After getting her number, Justin didn't waste any time. They hung out the next day that "the rest is history!"
When it came time for Justin to pop the question, they had spent the day visiting family. After coming home, having dinner, and watching the sunset together, the two were snuggled up and Alyssa told him how much she hated it when Justin had to be gone for work (he'd just returned from two days away).
She describes their conversation like this: I then said I just like being around him, and I'm sure we drive each other nuts sometimes but like being around him more than not being around him. He said, "do you want to be around me forever?" I was like, "of course I do!" So then he stood up, got down on one knee, and popped the question! I was like "are you serious?!" He was like "yes I'm serious!"
The two are very excited, and we are looking forward to official engagement photos in the fall!
I love the opportunity to get snippets of lovely moments with my clients. Congratulations, Alyssa and Justin! I can't wait to help create more lasting memories for you in photos!