Melissa + Rob

I was fortunate enough to spend the afternoon and evening photographing Melissa and Rob’s wedding on 10-11-12. There is nothing I can say about how great they are together that would say as much as the tears of joy in their kids eyes throughout the day. Congrats you to you guys!









Sand ceremony

Best of luck Melissa and Rob!

Rachel & Chris

The nurse. The fireman.  Probably sounds a bit cliche, but before they were the nurse and the fireman my cousin Rachel was a nursing student, and Chris was going to paramedic school. Wrapped in the romantic ambiance of an Anatomy and Physiology class she caught his eye, and as the physical therapist father-of-the bride said “Rachel found a guy with his head on straight”.

Although I was not the photographer for this wedding (I completely “uncle Bob’ed” this one), I had my camera at the ready with the permission of my cousin to snap a few shots since they only had 2 photographers for part of the day. Pinterest did its job on this day, and my cousin worked hard with the help of family and friends to detail out her wedding beautifully.

The apple licorice things were amazing.

Given to my grandfather when he retired.

Pre-Ceremony group shots for the wedding part.

I may have been just a little bias, and overwhelmingly honored that my little girl was the flower girl. Instead of the traditional throwing of flowers, the bride chose a bucket full of goldfish crackers, which she could conveniently snack on during the ceremony. Great idea!

First flower girl appearance.

Feeling timid.

Father of the bride.

Best Man = best dance moves.

I was so thrilled to get to spend time with family I haven’t seen in so many years. For many more photos from this muggy Southern Oregon wedding visit my Facebook page!

Www.Facebook.Com/KrisMillerPhotography

 

 

 

 

 

Brandi + Mike

Springtime in Oregon is full of love, flowering trees, and sun… well, maybe not so much sun. To schedule anything outdoors beyond the 10 day forecast takes a crystal ball and the psychic hotline. But after several rescheduling attempts we made it out to shoot some pre-wedding/engagement photos for Brandi and Mike. I wanted to share some of my favorites and wish these two luck on their upcoming wedding in June!

They’ve known each other since before high school, and with an upcoming casual backyard wedding I thought a nice evening shoot out in the hills East of Newport would be perfect for these two.

I was excited to get out there and see cherry blossoms, a light breeze, and the typical cool spring evening.

There is nothing easier than photographing a couple that really love each other. Something that was apparent through any awkwardness they felt in front of the camera, or uncertainty about this person (me) they had just met.

As the evening wore on we decided to head on down to an old cattle pasture. No pies left, but plenty of room to roam.

Newport is a small town, and after I posted these photos on my Facebook photography page (www.Facebook.com/KrisMillerPhotography), I had several different people approach me to let me know how happy they are these two are together. Best of luck to you both!

“You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” ~ Dr. Seuss

The Gamache Boys

I am the oldest of 3 boys. Growing up I often recall people looking at my mother with pity, sympathy and gut wrenching fear when she informed them she had 3 boys. I never really realized how differently wired little boys were than girls until I had a little girl of my own. Its as if little boys are predisposed to destroy. Not maliciously, that just seems to be how they test things. Sharks bite to see if something will make a tasty meal. So when our friend Julie had her 3rd little boy I remembered all those looks my mother received. So instead of sympathy, or pity, I smiled and said “you’re in for a hell of a ride”.

Reef, Kai, Finn

I approached my most recent photo shoot with a plan. Since I had seen Reef atop the highest point in of every piece of playground equipment in the greater Newport area I knew that I would have to get him on my team. The oldest brother team. Since Grandma was in town from Ohio it was important to get this right. Give her something to take home from her time with her boys. Reef and Finn are fearless. I’ve always taken a lot of enjoyment over watching their antics at the park, or playgroups since nothing stops them. No force is greater than 2 brothers with a mission to explore.

Robots

Soon the 3rd musketeer will be old enough to climb, shimmy, and rush headlong into the fray with his older siblings. But until then he watches them with wide eyes, sometimes you can almost hear him say “you fools are crazy… can I go to!?”.

Goodbye Sock

The hour long shoot was an awesome time of playing catch up with the boys. It reminded me of what happened when my brothers and I were at the beach. Climbing on logs, running through the brush, and peering over bridges. These boys couldn’t be happier to be on that bridge.

Bridgeview.

And even though little Kai couldn’t be peaking over the edge with them, he was looking around on his own.

Kai

Bribing them with the promise of chocolate pudding, we even got everyone looking at the camera a few times.

I am excited to continue to watch these little guys grow. I admire their tenacity and desire to explore. I don’t envy the emergency room bills that will likely occur in the future, but my brothers and I all survived it. As did my mother, and so will Julie. My only advice is that if it has value no matter how high the shelf it, they will get to it. Put it in a box and hide it until they are teenagers… or maybe in their 20s.

A friend is a brother who was once a bother. ~Author Unknown

At The Park

The sun is deceitful on the Oregon coast. You can look out a window to a clear blue sky, the sun above, then walk out to the bone chilling wind. It’s not rain though, and for the parents in the area that means time to go to the park.

When I was a kid it was called a playground. Now that I am a parent it’s more like a meeting ground. The adults hold tightly to their various coffee mugs, exchanging tales of what their little person did today. Intermittently breaking up the conversation are the “gentle” reminders to our kids to not eat bark chips, as they are not real chips, or as they get old not to physically accost the other kids. There is always a “no” for every age.

They find their friends from school, from dance class, the ones they shared library time with as a toddler. That’s the nature of a small town. Even the kids all know each other before they realize what it means to be social, and exchange stories as well about what has been going on in the respective circles.

When I am not feeling particularly social it gives me an opportunity to follow my little blonde whirlwind around the playground catching some snapshots. My favorites are when she and her little friends don’t even think about my presence, and in this case while playing on some of the unusual equipment at this park, I got my shot.

And no, that’s not a UFO above them. Just because we live in Oregon doesn’t mean we all claim to see UFO’s… often. 😉

Spinning

A person’s a person, no matter how small – Dr. Seuss (Horton Hears A Who)

Raven Hair Sisters

When my daughter was very young we began taking her to the local library for toddler time. They would read stories to the kids, then they could all be “social” and play with the train set and puzzles with the other kids. Plus, this was networking gold for the other moms (and occasional dads). But as any parent knows keeping a newly mobile toddler in place to listen to a story is not always easy. Velcro on the butt crossed my mind a few times. I even suspected it of some of the other more crafty looking parents. I was always fascinated by the attentiveness of one of the girls there, Willa. Over time we got to know them and I had the pleasure of photographing the family when their 2nd daughter was born last September.

Serafina Brand New

Born with the same thick head of black hair as her sister Serafina immediately began hearing the constant reoccurring comment of “oh my! she has so much hair for a newborn!”. But today while we sat in their comfortably warm and well lit home, it felt more like a window into how they sit with eachother and enjoy family time together than a photo shoot. Brad happily pulled out his guitar to add some nice background music to soothe the baby, and I of course brought some candy incentive for 4 year old Willa. 

Willa and my daughter go to school, and dance class together. So even though she knew who I was (Natalie’s dad, or, guy-who-always-has-camera) I was still in her space and she withdrew a bit. It was a lot having a brand new sister in the house.

But ultimately she quietly accepted that I would be there for just a short while, and when she didn’t think I was there could be caught being “Willa” and having conversations with her folks. Then she overcame all of her shyness to have a picture taken of herself, her new baby sister, and her equally raven haired mother, Tanya.

I was excited to be asked and incredibly honored, to come and do more family photos when Serafina approached her 6 month birthday. Watching her growing personality at dance class while my daughter and her sister were in practicing they arabesque, there was now a chatty, happy, jet black haired little girl.

Trip 2 to the house for photos showed Willa a much more confident older sister. Not only wanting to be in the pictures, but helping in trying to get baby sis to smile!

"Chubby Chubby" as she says.

It quickly moved from a 6 month old shoot to a very happy and fun sister shoot!

Since the guitar had been such an integral fixture in the first shoot we thought why not incorporate it this time too!

We’re not going to discuss here what happened while she was in there, but I think I owe them a new lining.

When she was a newborn the shoot was broken up with feedings, naps, diaper changes but this one was just a happy smiley baby the whole way through with a confident sister by her side the entire time.

I feel honored and privileged to have been given the opportunity to document this important moments in this family’s life. I hope these pictures act as a reminder of this time with their little girls at their house at the beach.

Kris

Tiny Dancers

When I was in the 1st grade I wanted to try everything. Basketball, baseball, soccer (definitely not for me) and gymnastics. Living in Gold Beach, OR only afforded so many actual opportunities to do these things as there weren’t retired NBA stars or Russian Olympian tumblers living just down the street. But, the community made it work

I don’t actually remember how long I participated in the gymnastics program, from what I recall however it was not for very long. I had one goal, and that was to master the balance beam. I trotted along curbs enough that how hard could the balance beam be? It was just a narrower curb elevated a few feet off the ground, no big deal. For some reason they kept  dissuading me from the beam, which at the time angered me, but now leaves me relieved that I didn’t suffer some agonizing fall, straddling the beam and eliminating my change to have my daughter later in life. My daughter who now is in dance class, and gets to walk across a balance beam at the end of each day.

"Warming up"

In December all of us parents finally got to sit in and watch a small demonstration of the class. Since these are all 3-5 year olds a curtain typically hangs across the door so we don’t act as a distraction glued to the glass cheering them on throughout class. But for this day we got to line up along the mirror in fold out chairs and quietly cheer on the little ones.

They stretched. They pretended to be various animals, as well as rocks. They jumped, and swung their legs at the barre. All the things their awkward little bodies could muster. One of the families was going out of town so the older sister did her demo with this class too. The rivalry was minimal.

Sisters

They jumped some more.

Jete`

Finally they twisted and turned, and giggled as little girls in tutus do before a bow from all and a stuffed bear given to each one of them from their dance teacher.

I am glad we can provide these opportunities for my daughter. She’s the blonde with the dual braids by the way. Its an outstanding group of young people. I once remember hearing one of the other dads say “watching them just gives you hope”. Granted, he had been working with them backstage at last years show so I can only imagine he was heavily sedated, but ultimately, I think he’s right.

The Yaquina Head

Yaquina? Yuhkwinuh? It’s ok if you stumble a little when trying to pronounce the name, it’s an Oregon thing. We like to confuse tourists with names like Yachats, Neahkahnie, Umpqua and the ever popular Boring. But on the central Oregon coast there is the Yaquina Head Oustanding Natural Area, home to Oregon’s tallest lighthouse.

It may not be Oregon’s most photographed lighthouse (that goes to Heceta Head about an hour south) but it ranks amongst the windier points of interest. On this evening it was no exception. I took my daughter out to grab a couple shots when the tourist population was low. I prefer to keep fanny packs and straw rimmed hats out of as many of my shots as possible. 

It was blowing hard, as usual, on the bluff that stretches about 1 mile into the Pacific. My daughter ran in circles, tracing the cement compass while I fired off a couple of shots. The lighthouse was closed for tours, inside is a lengthy spiral staircase and usually a volunteer dressed as a caretaker. If traveling the coast this is worth a stop. There is a well designed visitor center with museum, and a small hike to the top of the hill giving an expansive panoramic view. Just remember, they close at dusk….

To see more visit http://www.Facebook.com/KrisMillerPhotography

Harris Bridge Vineyard

In the winter of 2004 I took my burgeoning wine palette to the holiday festival held at the Lane County Fairgrounds. It was a smorgasbord of wine, desserts, and of course nick-nacky holiday attire and potpourri. Filled with smug (yes, smug) I toured the various wine tables, while the group I was with was far more interested in the other goodies and didn’t mind at all that I was tasting my way to needing someone else to drive. Tucked in a back corner was a newer winery. Not that Oregon is shy on up and coming wineries, but this one had a niche. They only dealt in dessert wines.

As a young wine drinker this was immediately appealing since all new wine drinkers like sweet wine. Oh yeah, and they alcohol content was higher. I got to talking to the co-owner of the winery, Amanda Sever, and pledged that if I someday had a wine shop or restaurant I would sell their wines! As she was in the back corner, and many people had passed many other drinking pit stops on the way there, I am sure she was getting plenty of promises. Two years later though I was managing a small wine shop in Newport, Or and they were one of the first calls I made to stock the shelves.

Skipping ahead to present day, I’ve enthusiastically sent people to Nathan and Amanda’s growing winery down a rutted gravel road in Wren, Or. Nestled next to one of Oregon’s historic covered bridges they keep a small vineyard and produce dessert style pinot noir and pinot gris, and soon some liqueur! The cozy barn type structure that houses their vineyard caretaker, story writer, and tasting room frequently hosts live music events and various other activities.

I frequently call dessert style wines “candy wine”. The easy drinking high sugar wines that can easily take advantage of a person with their drinkability don’t always have a wide reach when it comes to being appreciated.  But the variety here is what makes them special. A series of whites that are sweet and smooth served chilled, butted up against a series of reds that teeter on reminding me (at least) of a light port wine.

I’ve taken many ney sayers by for a sample over the years, and not one of them didn’t find something they liked and very often times purchased. 

The comfortable environment, the friendly wines and pourers make this an incredibly inviting stop between the valley and the Oregon coast. Find them on Facebook. Browse their website. Each bottle of wine has a “story” affixed to the top above the cork, enjoy their story while making your own.

www.harrisbridgevineyard.com/

Did I mention they have lawn games on nice days?

Sun Breaks

Aside

In Oregon, we live and die by “sun breaks”. That time when the rain has stopped, the clouds have parted, and for a brief time we have sunlight.

After a series of heavy storms, high winds, extremely high surf and an immense amount of rain I took a “sun break” moment to head up north of Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area to snap some pictures assuming I’d find some great piles of debris from the recent storms. When I arrived the realization struck that there is a rocky reef that would have kept just about everything off the beach. Oops.

I stayed though, the air was calm and only one other person was found navigating the slippery rocks.

It’s not often that I venture out to take landscape photos without Natalie. It’s also just about the only way I can get out to do landscape photos when there is not a preschooler darting around at full speed.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

After snagging a few images in a short time for some photo therapy, and before my sun break was up I did what I’ve done since I was little; chased some birds.