Category Archives: inspiration

Allow me to indulge in showing a recent photo from our family portrait session with Kersten Green Photography. I spend so much time with my son every week, and even though I don’t distinctly remember the moment, I know that when she took this photo he was kind of mad and uncooperative, and I can tell I was speaking softly and sweetly to him as I do every day when he gets like that. Photos are magic. (And, it also helps to have your hair professionally styled.)


Since I do not offer family photos, I have a few talented friends I do recommend depending upon what you’re seeking. For classic, beautiful images I like Kersten Green Photography. For super Portland, candid, and real photos go to Posy Q. For quirky, funny family photos check out Gwyneth Colleen Photography.

Get Off The Scale!

You are beautiful. Your beauty, just like your capacity for life, happiness, and success, is immeasurable. Day after day, countless people across the globe get on a scale in search of validation of beauty and social acceptance.

Get off the scale! I have yet to see a scale that can tell you how enchanting your eyes are. I have yet to see a scale that can show you how wonderful your hair looks when the sun shines its glorious rays on it. I have yet to see a scale that can thank you for your compassion, sense of humor, and contagious smile. Get off the scale because I have yet to see one that can admire you for your perseverance when challenged in life.

It’s true, the scale can only give you a numerical reflection of your relationship with gravity. That’s it. It cannot measure beauty, talent, purpose, life force, possibility, strength, or love. Don’t give the scale more power than it has earned. Take note of the number, then get off the scale and live your life. You are beautiful!”

― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

one of the most terrifying experiences of my life

I love the transition from “this is one of the scariest things I have ever done” to “THAT WAS FUN!”

boudoir client FB conversation (pre- and post- shoot)

I am about to embark on one of the most terrifying experiences of my life – a boudoir photoshoot… I’m so scared I have no idea why I really agreed to this in the first place. Who knew half-naked photos could induce such terror?” -2/10/12 at 8am

The photo shoot turned out to be FUN. Rachel is amazing at making you feel safe – even when barely clothed. I danced, tossed my hair, and channeled my inner Victoria’s Secret model. Wowza. I didn’t know I had it in me. It was the experience of a lifetime. I totally recommend getting a boudoir photoshoot with Rachel.” -2/10/12 at 1pm



Also… her friend’s advice is super funny. “Bust of luck!” heehee

Fifi Chachnil ‘Crazy Horse’

FIFI CHACHNIL ‘CRAZY HORSE’ from LoveHate Productions Ltd on Vimeo.

I like this little advert – it manages to be totally sexy but also cute. French music is charming.

Apparently Fifi Chachnil is a hugely enthusiastic stylist, an unconditional fan of the Crazy Horse, and a devoted artist of the female body. Her aim? To give each woman a feeling for HER own beauty, HER distinctive sensuality. Intellectually curious and inspired, Chachnil has worked with the music business, photographers and film-makers, invariably demonstrating the truth of her essential maxim: “To try to be sexy is to be vulgar”

FASCINATING! (source) duly noted: Le Crazy Horse is a strip club, a type of institution I do not endorse or support.

How to Look Good Naked

I’m so pleased!
How to Look Good Naked is available on Hulu!

how to look good naked

HuluYoutube channel | Wikipedia entry ]

There’s a US version that only made it one season in 2008 (?), but personally I find US host Carson Kressley more difficult to watch than the Gok Wan, the UK host.


What I love about this show is that it shows REAL WOMEN coming to terms with their bodies and learning to appreciate (and flatter) what they have without going to surgery or manipulative photo retouching to feel desirable. There’s a tangible life difference when you get that self-confidence boost – a ripple effect on relationships and quality of life in general, which leads to confidence and success in all areas. I’ve seen this firsthand in the 100+ boudoir sessions I have photographed over the years.

Of course as a photographer, I love that every episode starts with a woman who basically hates her body, and ends with a confident, nude portrait session. It’s thrilling to hear the women talk candidly about how her life is and will be different moving forward now that she has come to terms with her curves and sensuality. We’re talking about a transformation that literally changes lives.



Gok: How are you feeling inside, honestly?

Sonya:  Quite proud of myself. You know what I’ve learned today, more than anything… the most terrifying thing you can possibly think of doing, if you just do it, it’s never as bad, never ever ever. It kind of releases all this tension in you and you think “actually, I wonder what else I can do in my life?” You don’t actually have to live your life looking in the mirror and thinking “I hate what I see” – you don’t have to do that.

-Sonya (Season 3, episode 1, @ 37:18)

Lille Boutique, Fortnight Lingerie

I just wrote about this in my newsletter to subscribers, but wanted to point out that Lille Boutique (1007 E Burnside, Portland OR 97214) is having an open house tonight and a trunk show tomorrow for Fortnight Lingerie. Here’s some interesting info from the Portland Mercury piece on the show:


Fortnight was founded to rectify a dearth of proper sizing in the lingerie market—a bra from this collection is typically made in 30 or so different sizes as opposed to typical runs of six or eight, according to Remenyi’s estimate. And while the founding principles may come from a practical place, Fortnight styles go above and beyond on design duty, too. Vintage-inspired pieces from the new collection take their names—Lola, Mary Jane, Angie, etc.—from classic rock songs, a genre Remenyi tells me captures the carefree spirit she and the Fortnight team of five (who do everything from design to production to marketing in-house at their Toronto HQ) are constantly striving for.

[Christina] Remenyi feels strongly that wearing properly fitting lingerie is as essential to a woman’s wardrobe as her shoe choice, affecting everything from her posture to her self-esteem. She’s found that there is no consistently reliable size grade for bras, where she says “every millimeter makes a difference.”



I often get asked for recommendations about where to find pieces to wear during a fine art boudoir portrait session. While I encourage clients to shop their closets to outfit the shoot, there is nothing quite like an artistic piece of clothing to add the element of luxury (and surprise) to your boudoir experience.

In this vein, I have recently fallen in love with Portland’s Lille Boutique. I appreciate the quality of photography they display on their site, the beautiful little pieces in their curated collection, and the overall vibe in their two naturally-lit Portland locations. I recommend you stop in for some inspiration and consider supporting this local business to outfit your session.

Sarah Wizemann, Lille’s owner, keeps an interesting blog here and at and is active on twitter @lilleboutique.

lingerie shop Portland oregon
Lille Boutique
1007 E Burnside
Portland Oregon 97214

Glamour. Drama. Timelessness.

What is it about black and white photos that creates such drama and timelessness? From a psychological perspective, lack of color can help the viewer focus on the emotion and gesture of the subject rather than be distracted by the environment or clothing choice. From a photographic perspective, the light and shadows seem to play out richly when combined with the right lighting and technique in a good black and white photograph.

Here’s the photo that changed my life. My grandmother worked for photographer Jack Richburg in Houston in her early 20s, and had him do her portrait a year or two before getting married at 23. I noticed the image with fresh eyes after I started doing boudoir portraiture – and realized that I wanted just a little something more in my own work. I wanted to make photos for my clients they would be proud to display.

black and white portrait

After spending a lot of time thinking about this riveting photo of Granny O, I realized that the quality of the imagery, the beautiful expression and well-done styling all combine to create an image that is timeless. It almost seems as though this photo could have been taken last year, let alone 60 years ago. The photographer was obviously a master, able to make photos that captured his subjects’ personalities in a flattering and natural way. The fact that she still has this photo hanging in the dining room today says a lot about its place as a treasured family heirloom.

My hat is tipped to Jack Richburg, and I thank him for teaching me a deep lesson about the lasting legacy of a good photograph.