Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"It's that time of year...

when the world falls in love! Every song you hear seems to say...Merry Christmas!"
Holiday music on the stereo, the smell of cookies baking, the crinkle of wrapping paper in the other room as my husband wraps my Christmas gift (or maybe my puppy has gotten into the gift wrap!)...I love this time of year!

I also love my clients and making my clients happy! This has been a great week for it - yep, I'm definitely bragging, but you can't blame me! Not when you receive glowing emails like THIS:

"Thanks Denise, you are a star. Thanks for all your amazing work with the portraits. They came out beautifully and I am so happy with them. You can be sure that I will toot your horn to everyone who sees them!!!!"

That email made my day today! It's a privilege to work with such wonderful folks as Ellen, her husband Ben and her lovely daughter, Marilee - that's them right there at the top of this post. Thank YOU, Ellen, for your kind words, for letting me share them and for giving me the opportunity to work with you!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Clients are the Very Best Clients!

Just wanted to share a couple of MY favorites from a recent one year old birthday session - yep, that's the adorable Stella again, looking absolutely gorgeous in a whole lotta pink! I showed off a couple "sneak peeks" of Stella's one year old session a little while back...well, her Mom (Cari of the fabulous Jewelry by Cari!) was finally able to winnow her favorites down to 20 images (a Very Difficult Thing to Do since Stella is soooo photogenic and we got sooooo many great images at that that session!) for a custom bound album to commemorate Stella's first birthday. I was very pleased with how the album turned out and I just have to share with you Cari's reaction to it:

Hi Denise! I took the book back to the party and people were super impressed and checking it out! They were raving about it...the pictures are awesome and I just keep flipping through over and over. Thank you sooooo much!!!"

Thank YOU, dear Cari, for your kind words and the privilege of working with you and your beautiful family!

Friday, December 18, 2009

It's all about FAMILY!

You've seen this sweet face before (the little redhead, not that gnarly-looking fella, lol! love ya, Larry...), but I didn't think you'd mind seeing just a little bit more of her!

This month I'm celebrating FAMILY, 'cuz that's what the Holidays means to me: a time to reconnect, reminisce and build new memories with those we love, those we grew up with and those we've chosen to hold close in our lives...This is my buddy Larry and his darling grand-daughter - I love her obvious delight in being with him and hugging him tight! (and Larry looks every inch the Proud Grandpa!) THIS is why I love to photograph families - it's such a privilege to be able to capture that bond, that loving connection in an image that people will cherish every time they look at it...

Wishing you all a Joyous Holiday Season surrounded by those you love!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Glamour Knows No Age

Here's proof that you're never too old for a little glamour! This is Ruth, who was the other half of a fun-filled Best Friends portrait session last week. When she arrived in her fur coat (it belonged to HER mother!), I knew immediately that I had to create this image of her, something reminiscent of old school Hollywood style...Ruth is 88 years young and filled with a contagious love for life - it was a privilege to get to know her!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tween Beauty

In the midst of a portrait session filled with giggles and wiggles, this serene little smile made my day...
(have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE what I do?!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"All I Want for Christmas..."

" my two front teeth!" I couldn't resist creating this image at the end of a family portrait session this week - isn't she adorable?!

Wishing everyone a warm, safe, joyous holiday surrounded by family and friends, filled with love and laughter!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Holiday Gift Giving

Just created these storyboards as 12x18 canvas thin wraps for a friend's Christmas gift - no worries, he never reads my blog, lol! I'm so pleased with them, I just HAD to share...

If YOU need a Christmas gift for family and you had a session within the last year, give me a call and let's put our heads together to create something wonderful from YOUR family or child's portrait session for the holidays!

(Sorry, but NO new Portrait Commissions are being accepted for December 2009. Please consider a Family Portrait to celebrate the New Year, however! Call me at 541-490-7132 for more information.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sneak Peek at January's Promo!

The day before I ended up in the hospital, I enjoyed a wonderful day in the studio with 2 photographer friends from Portland, Daron Gildow of Laughing Coyote Photography and Steve Hunt of NorthWest Rebel Photography, and a couple of my favorite models, Cecy and Keeley. I remember thinking the whole week I lay around that hospital, "Dang, I haven't even gotten to review those images! I just KNOW there is some good stuff in there!" Well, it took a little while before I felt comfortable sitting up at my computer, but I've finally gotten the chance to look over those images and by george, I was right, there IS some gold to be mined there! I'm reserving the images of Cecy for another website (to be announced soon!), but happily share my top three favorites of Keeley here with you...look for these images (and others) promoting my upcoming January Special, Pretty in Pink!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Didja Miss Me?!

Just in case, dear reader (all 5 of you), you wondered where I disappeared to for awhile, I have a Very Good Excuse: I was in the hospital from November 8th through the 13th. Woke in the wee hours of Sunday, Nov. 8 with ALOT of abdominal pain - ER at Providence Hospital (what good and kindly folks work there! can't say enough good things about 'em...) admitted me with a diagnosis of acute pancreatitis and acute infected gall bladder, ugh! After several days waiting for the pancreas to settle down, surgery was performed that Tuesday evening to removed the nasty, offending gall bladder; I remained under observation until Friday afternoon whereupon I breathed the sweetest fresh air I've inhaled in a Very Long Time! ahhhhh.......

Recuperation has been Slow and Steady - I am constantly amazed at the amount of sleep my body has been demanding. The upside is I'm starting to feel more rested than ever before in my life - so THIS is what 10-12 hours of sleep feels like, wow!

To all of you who have been waiting to pick up prints or had to reschedule portrait appointments due to my illness, I offer my apologies and promise to pick business up again just as soon as I am able. And to all of you who have conveyed your well wishes and support during this stressful time, you have my gratitude BIG TIME!

On display is my first get-well card, drawn by one of my Very Favorite Models, Keeley; also shown is the drawing my admitting surgeon made for me the morning I came into the ER - I even had him and the operating surgeon sign it for me!

Giving thanks...

I am thankful today (and every day) for the love and support of my wonderful husband, the caring and competent folks at Providence Memorial Hospital, and for my continued recovery and good health! May you all enjoy a blessed and grateful Thanksgiving holiday...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


We enjoy a remarkable depth of creativity here in the Columbia River Gorge - it seems like almost every week I meet a new and remarkably talented photographer! So I am very aware that a high school senior has many wonderful choices when it comes to choosing the photographer who will create their senior portraits. This makes me extra grateful and doubly honored when a senior chooses ME to commemorate this special turning point in their lives...

Many thanks to all the AMAZING, GORGEOUS/HANDSOME, INTRIGUING, INTELLIGENT seniors I have had the pleasure of working with these past few months!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Head Shot!

WTD (What the Duck) is my FAVORITE online comic strip! Maybe only other photographers (or anyone who's been in front of MY lens!) will find this funny, but it made ME laugh out loud! Enjoy...

(This cartoon is reproduced here with permission of the creator.)

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

HRVHS Seniors - Your Deadline Draws Near!

But don't panic - yet...I've still got some appointments available, especially if you are looking for a studio portrait! Yeah yeah, I know - we live in a GORGE-ous place so OF COURSE everyone wants their senior portraits done outside...but the weather doesn't always cooperate, especially if you find yourself hemmed in by a looming deadline! Or maybe you think all studio photos are boring and old-fashioned - THINK AGAIN!

I love it when a senior brings in a magazine, shows me an ad and asks, "Can we do something like THIS?" To which I enthusiastically reply, "You bet we can!" I am a studio lighting specialist with years of experience working with models in the San Francisco Bay Area and well, requests like that are just music to my ears.

Your senior photos shouldn't look like everyone else's - you deserve images that are as unique, as expressive as you are! Just because the yearbook deadline is fast approaching doesn't mean you have to settle for anything less than the BEST senior portrait you can imagine...give me a call at 541-436-2755 and let's talk about what YOU want and how we can make it happen!

(oh yeah, that's the modelicious HRVHS senior, Lily, decorating the top of this post. She asked me to recreate a couple of looks from ads in the latest Vogue magazine - we had a blast making it happen for her!)

Saturday, October 03, 2009


Picture-perfect weather, delicious desserts made from fruit grown right here in the Gorge, an old-fashion pie eating contest and music by Chigwaya, a local youth marimba was an event to remember! Here's a list of the winners and a handful of images to remember a wonderful day by...

• Kathy Hannen-Smith won $500 for Best Apple Pie - award sponsored by Shortt Supply and Providence Health & Services
• Stephanie Haliei won $500 for Best Pear Pie - award sponsored by the Columbia Gorge Fruit Growers
• Linda Mills won $500 for Best Baked Fruit Dessert - award sponsored by the Hood River Heights Business Association
• Monica Haliei won $500 for Best Professional Fruit Dessert - award sponsored by D'lish Delivered

Congratulations to the winners and a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out to help set up, perform as judges, and eat wonderful desserts! All funds raised at today's event will go to Helping Hands against Violence - thanks again for helping SIHR help the community!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Not-so-basic "Basic Senior Session"!

Presenting Monica G., the latest HRVHS senior to have her portraits created at Photosensitive Portraits' studio! These are two of her favorite images from her senior portrait session - though she said it was a difficult choice because she loved so many of them!

Just a reminder to the Class of 2010 that you don't have to spend a fortune for a FABULOUS senior portrait in your yearbook - just because you THINK you don't have the funds, don't use that gosh-awful school ID photo!

This year Photosensitive Portraits has added "Basic Sessions" to the list of Senior Portrait Session offered: Basic Studio ($75) and Basic Location ($95). Either Basic Session gets you 40 minutes of camera time AND your yearbook portrait delivered to the school as a digital file. If you bring in a card or wallet from one of Photosensitive Portraits' Senior Super Models, you will also receive 24 FREE WALLETS! That's a really great deal for less than a hundred bucks!

Of course you can choose one of the more elaborate sessions - the Designer, Combo and Ultimate Sessions are designed to give you as much variety as possible and feature unlimited clothing, background and location changes. These sessions are a great value and also include your yearbook image delivered to the school.

So once you've got your classes in order and things have settled down a little, call Photosensitive Portraits for YOUR senior portrait session! Get what you WANT - get what you DESERVE - get the VERY BEST! (Get Photosensitive Portraits to create YOUR senior photos...)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A WINDY Afternoon Session!

Da Gorge lived up to its' reputation yesterday and blew like gangbusters through one of my favorite shooting locations! HRVHS senior Elizabeth O. was a trouper, insisting that all that hair whipping around her face wasn't bothering her at all, no ma'am, let's just take some great photos...which of course we proceeded to do! Just like windsurfing, it's all about making the wind work FOR you instead of trying to work against it (which never works!) here's Elizabeth, self-described "country girl" looking fresh, beautiful and serene despite the gale blowing around her!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

More Seniors, yah!

I am having so much fun with seniors this past month that it ought to be illegal! I wake up with a smile on my face 'cuz I know I'm going to be working with someone new and fascinating, together creating something truly special just for them - and I go to bed at night KNOWING that's exactly what happened! I am blessed to be able to share my love for photography with so many incredible young people - MUCHOS GRACIAS to the Class of 2010!!!

And now, heeeeeeerrrrreeeee'sss NANCI and SILVIA, who both visited the studio last week for their senior portrait session...

Monday, August 31, 2009

FABULOUS day at Edgefield!

Many thanks to my Senior Super Model, Deisy, and her boyfriend, Hugo, for their patience and forbearance as myself and two other photographer friends, Daron and Julian, walked them all over McMenamin's Edgefield property and exercised our off-camera flash techniques! Here's a few photos from the day: me talking (I'm ALWAYS talking, sheesh!) to Julian about different poses for couples and one of my favorite couples' pose - followed by yet another stunning portrait of the gorgeous Deisy - then there's Daron setting up his version of the shot. All in all, a most enjoyable way to spend a couple hours...