Silcox Hut Wedding, Mount Hood. Portland Oregon Wedding Photographer

When John contacted me about capturing his and Amy’s wedding I nearly jumped out of my chair when he mentioned the Venue. The Silcox Hut up at Mount Hood…of course! It was perfect.

The Silcox Hut is this small warming hut that sits about a mile up the mountain from Timberline Lodge. Originally part of the “make work project” , for me this building represents American pride and history.

For this couple the Silcox Hut meant something more than a beautiful, private location with 180 degree views of Mount Hood’s National Forest. The grooms uncle, the celebrated climber John Smolich, was one of three original climbers who had set out to restore the once abandoned building. For you Mountaineers out there, the name may ring a bell…John Smolich was one the first Americans to attempt a climb up the then-unclimbed Southwest Pillar of K2, also known as the “Magic Line”. However, on one summer day in August 1986 John, one of two lead climbers, fell in an avalanche starting what is known as the 1986 K2 disaster.

John Smolich, an avid climber who spent many an early morning climbing up the steep Palmer Glacier in preparation of the mountains he aspired to climb, leaves behind his legacy for the members of his family. Who stood on the side of the mountain and witnessed the sweet beginnings of this couple’s new story.  John (the groom) remembers visiting the hut with his uncle as a boy, and as he and his family gazed up at the crater one could see in their faces the reflection of life’s past stories of passion, determination and a love for the mountains.

As I got in my car to drive down from the mountain I had the 2.5 hour drive home to reflect on the images I’d just captured. Everything had this wonderful meaning….and I was honored to be the one to capture this great story for them.

When two people come together and vow to love, honor and cherish…something greater is happening. These two people join together their experiences, their families and their friends and they begin to weave together a new story. And when that chapter begins with so much meaning and love…how can it not have anything but a happy ending.


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Perfect Combination. Family Photographer-Portland

I have to admit, as I get ready for all of these lovely family sessions I feel a bit of stress. I know how important these images are to your family. I know that what I offer you in my services and products will be what your family hands down for generations. I know you are counting on me to tell your story in a way that makes you smile, laugh…and (hopefully) cry. Because, if I can’t provoke emotion from you…the images haven’t done their job. And that is a huge weight to carry as a photographer.

In anticipation for this session I ran through situations that would get all 6 (yes, I didn’t mess it up mom) members of this family interacting in a way that would put everyone at ease.

Then they rolled up in their mini van with an adventurous story of how they just risked their life to get there…..and I knew…these images would be a piece of Cake.

To mom….I wish you could see the smile on my face as I flipped through each image. I have been so excited for you to see them….in my humble opinion…this IS your story.
fun family photos with husband and kids running fun family photos with husband and kids running fun family photos with husband and kids running fun family photos with husband and kids running fun family photos with husband and kids running fun family photos with husband and kids running fun family photos with husband and kids running fun family photos with husband and kids running fun family photos with husband and kids running fun family photos with husband and kids running 1-Portland-Photo 0002 1-Portland-Photo 0004 1-Portland-Photo 0003 1-Portland-Photo 0006 1-Portland-Photo 0005 1-Portland-Photo 0007 1-Portland-Photo 0008 1-Portland-Photo 0001 1-Portland-Photo 0010 fun family photos with husband and kids running fun family photos with husband and kids running Photographer-Portland0013 1-Portland-Photo 0011 Photographer-Portland0014 Photographer-Portland0015 Photographer-Portland0016 Photographer-Portland0017 Photographer-Portland0019 Photographer-Portland0020 Photographer-Portland0018 Photographer-Portland0021 Photographer-Portland0022 Photographer-Portland0023

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Waiting for baby. Maternity Photographer in Portland

A beautiful maternity session from an equally beautiful family. Just goes to show how a little adventure and a low stress attitude can produce beautiful images that capture an experience that is sure to quickly become a memory.

This little one is expected to arrive any minute (quite literally) and I can’t wait to meet baby for out Newborn Session! Watching a family grow is truly one of the best perks of this job. 🙂 Maternity pictures by Rachael May Photography Maternity pictures by Rachael May Photography Maternity-Portland-Photographer0003 Maternity-Portland-Photographer0004 Maternity-Portland-Photographer0005 Maternity-Portland-Photographer0006 Maternity-Portland-Photographer0007 Maternity-Portland-Photographer0008 Maternity-Portland-Photographer0009 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0001 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0002 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0003 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0004 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0005 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0006 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0007 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0008 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0009 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0010 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0011 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0012 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0013 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0014 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0015 Portland-Maternity-Photographer 0016

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Snuggles and Love. Portland Newborn Photographer

The Maternity/Newborn Combo session. I love getting to know your family before baby gets here 🙂 This kind of session is perfect for older siblings as well 🙂 The last images of them before your family grows can be very special. It will never be just the 3 of you (or 4 or 5 or 6 or…) again.

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And then came baby 🙂

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Posted in Babies, Family, Kids, Maternity | 11 Comments

A Portland Family’s Summer Bucketlist

It’s officially summer. . .well, actually, it became official last Wednesday when my cute kinder threw his school-made graduation cap in the air and sang the sweetest end-of-year songs. You know, the ones you hear them singing in the backseat of the car all week long and  when you ask  about them they say “Nope, I can’t tell. It’s a secret.” Happy Family Movement Summer bucketlist.

I could probably spend a few blog posts simply reflecting on the last 6 1/2 years, but I’m only going to say that I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for the images I have of my kids. They are our moments, the moments that make up our lives.

Happy Family Movement Summer bucketlist. Happy Family Movement Summer bucketlist.
I wanted to start this summer with a challenge. We’d been working on a summer-to-do list for several weeks prior to our Kinder’s graduation. By “working on” what I actually mean is  I asked them three times a day to pick what they wanted to do this summer. The only two answers they came up with where go to the beach (only if it’s warm) and go explore OMSI.  You can imagine the hard selling I had to do to get Symphony in the Park and Hiking on the list.

We pushed hard two days before our official summer date to get the list finalized and up on our wall. Thanks to Happy Family Movement for the tip of having it in an open space for us to see EVERY SINGLE DAY. It helps all of us remember the goal we’ve set to finish these activities.
Happy Family Movement Summer bucketlist.Happy Family Movement Summer bucketlist.

Yeah, that’s right FOOD FIGHT! I’m excited for that one, and I’m trying to convince a few other local moms to join in on the fun (think the movie Hook, only insert a Portland area Park).

I’m happy to report we are off to a great start and have accomplish one item. (we aren’t over achievers in this house). Picnic in the Park, but we’ve done it three times (so maybe we are over achievers).  Our first park adventure was a Northwest kind of day. If you live here, you know exactly the kind of day I’m talking about. One that keeps you indoors all morning with the threat of rain, and when it hasn’t rained by two o’clock you figure the forecast is wrong (again), so you venture outside without an umbrella (because you don’t actually have one). Only to find yourself using the leaves of a nearby tree to keep your cell phone dry while you take pictures  of eight people who keep saying “I think it’s going to let up. My dear friend can verify that I said, probably more than once, “That’s it, I’m going strait to Target to by an Umbrella and I’m keeping it in my backpack”.

Yeah. I haven’t done that yet either.

Happy Family Movement Summer bucketlist.

So here it is. The official list 🙂
summer bucket listIf you’d like to try out a summer bucket list of your own it’s not to late (especially for those of us in the Northwest…we’ve just started our summer). Head over to and sign up. FOR FREE and join an amazing groups of families who have committed to getting out and having some fun for the Summer of 2013!

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