Friday, December 28, 2007

Another Satisfied Cherie Renae customer

Speaking of family portraits, I have to share this with you. The Duffy family visited my studio in December, and this image was THEIR idea. (Well, it was Tim's.)

Family Portraits

Many of you know that I offer a family portrait session as my gift to the families of my graduating seniors.

The Tuss family visited my studio today. It was wonderful to see Jordan again (we did his high school senior portraits in 2005). He is home from the art institute in Seattle where he is a sophomore. Many of you will recognize Holli as one of my current senior models; it will be a few years before Collin, a freshman, visits me for his graduation portraits! As usual, there was a lot of laughter...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

More Khalil Stories

Many of you know that I am a writer as well as a photographer. I am a regular contributor to a publication that caters to activity directors for senior organizations, such as senior centers, nursing homes, etc. Every month, I create literature and drama pages for this publication.

A couple of years ago, I started a series of short plays loosely based on my grandfather, who lived to be 99 years old. I have been asked to put more of these stories on my website, and I am happy to honor that request!

Click here to read the Khalil short plays.

Speaking of Creative...

I love the creative spirit of the graduating seniors who visit me.

Here are images of three young women who recently completed sessions with me. Their individual spirits really show in these images, I think. I appreciate their willingness to be...themselves.


Creative Ideas

While we were enjoying the new backdrops (see article below), Josh said, "I want to take some images that are creative and different. Can we do that?" Those of you who know me understand that this request is music to my ears. Can we do that? I think we can!

Cherie has new Backdrops!

As you know, I always try to keep things fresh. That involves adding backdrops that enhance the Cherie Renae look.
I just got two new backdrops, and I couldn't wait to try them out! Since Josh STILL hadn't finished his high school senior session, he became my willing guinea pig. I love the new backdrops! (And he looks OK, too...) :)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Holiday Portraits

Today was our second annual Holiday Portraits event. This fun, inexpensive special is my thank-you to my clients, with collections from $10 - $55, and Christmas cards, too!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Beautiful Women

The McKinnell family visited me this weekend, and I had the opportunity to photograph these three beautiful young women. I loved getting to know them - they each have their own strengths and interests (and they ALL have a great sense of humor!) Thanks, ladies!

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Women love my studio.

That’s probably why I do so many pregnancy sessions.

And what follows pregnancy sessions?

Newborn sessions, of course!


Church Directories - A New Adventure

It all started when my church decided it was time for a new directory. “A necessary evil” was the opinion of most, who hated the assembly-line, curt experience that is associated with church directory photography.

“Why does it have to be like that?” I wondered to myself. I thought long and hard. I developed a vision for a process that was partnership-based and fun. I presented it to our church council, and it was accepted.

We decided on a two-week period for photography, and I moved one of my studio sets (and all of my lights) to the church. (I got oohs and aahs from everyone about the set, by the way. Who says church directory photography can’t be elegant?)

Everyone left their session saying, “That was fun!” Many folks told me how pleased they were that the process was painless – high praise indeed from a group of people who prefer a root canal to a directory photography experience!

Best of all, I thought it was a blast, too. (To be honest, even I wasn’t expecting it to be so much fun.) And I’ve already been contacted by a couple of other churches, who have heard about the Cherie Renae church photography experience. (I just finished the directory photography at the end of October, so word travels fast…)

So, the moral of the story is: church directories can be fun, both for the congregation AND the photographer! Who knew?

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Simple Man

I lost my dad on October 9; five years and six days after the passing of my husband, Lee. I could give you the minutes that separate the two events, so great an impact do they have on my life.

My dad is gone. Gone. That is so hard for me to wrap my head around. Who will I call when I need to know which hand cleaner removes tar and pitch? Who is going to repair the yard ornaments he so lovingly created and my animals so unwittingly damage? Who is going to say, “Hey Sis, how’s it going?”

Dad was a simple man. He was born on a farm in Eastern Oregon, and joined the Army at age 17. His heroism saved many lives during the Korean War, and he returned to Portland, met and married a beautiful young thing (my Mom), and settled down into a quiet life of work and family.

When he was diagnosed with inoperable, untreatable cancer a year ago, the first thing he said to the family was, “I just want you all to know that, if I had it to do all over again, I would have chosen this exact same life. I’m a lucky man, and have been given a better life than I probably deserved.”

He was so gracious in the months that followed. He was so grateful, so appreciative of the world around him. He maintained as much independence as he could, right to the end. He was not one for sitting around and moaning about what he couldn’t do. He was too busy doing all the things he still could (and a few that he probably shouldn’t…)

During September, the disease really started to take its toll. Dad spent a lot of time sitting in the sun on the back patio, enjoying the warmth, the sights and the sounds. Living. Living as fully as a man wracked with cancer could possibly live. Four days before his death, I found him propped up in bed, reading the paper. ‘Hey, Sis, how’s it going?” he said.

How’s it going? Well, I miss you, Dad. I’m doing my best to follow your example - to live every moment of every day. To avoid moaning about what can’t be, and to fully appreciate what is. To live a joyous, meaningful life that is a blessing to others. To be just like my Dad.

In Memory of Harold “Sonny” Wilson, July 11, 1928 – October 9, 2007

Friday, August 31, 2007

A Girl's Boutique

Jan and her daughters recently visited my studio to enjoy a session celebrating Jan's pregnancy. We chose to use drapings for part of her session, which involved a bit more disrobing than her daughters were used to occurring 'in public'. In response to their shocked faces, Jan laughed and said, "This is a girl's studio."

She's right! Both men and women feel at home in my studio, but women especially enjoy the relaxed boutique atmosphere.

And Jan's images show that pregnancy is a wonderful time of family and of delicate beauty. Thank you for visiting, ladies!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Maren and I explored Deepwoods for the outdoor portion of her session. Deepwoods is a photographic dream, because there are literally hundreds of completely different looks possible here!


Miles and I explored color with his session. His bold choices ensured that his would not be humdrum senior portraits!


Caitlyn added a beach session to her senior portrait choices. The weather cooperated beautifully! She completed her senior portraits with studio and train station settings.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Holli and I explored downtown alleys to find just the right look for her. I love hand-coloring black & white images - just the right splash of red makes all the difference! :)


Alex and I took advantage of Salem's downtown during his photography session. We took advantage of historic brick buildings to create a one-of-a-kind look for him. And we had fun!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Erica & Alex

I just love weddings. They are one of the happiest days in the life of a couple, their families and friends. Erica & Alex's wedding was held at Peavy Arboreteum, which showcases the natural beauty of our Pacific Northwest. What a great day!

Senior Season!

It's high school graduation season! Many people don't know that senior portraits are usually completed during the summer months, because high school yearbook deadlines begin in late September through November.

Shealyn chose to add a beach portrait option to her session package. Watch for more beach portraits - a total of five young women chose to commemorate this most important time on July 28 with a 'session by the sea'! (I have a couple of openings left for my August 10 beach session - it's the last one this year.)

Chris & Stefanie's wedding

I'd never been to Postlewaites near Canby. What a lovely setting for a lovely day! Thank you to Chris, Stefanie, and their families for inviting us to share this day with them.

Great Tips for Your Wedding

These tips came from Beverly Clark’s They were so good, I wanted to pass them on! I especially like the beauty and the honeymoon travel tip.

Beauty Tip
Have a practice session for your hairstyle with your hair consultant and take two photos of the style you have agreed upon. Keep one photo for your records to bring with you the "day of" the wedding and ask your beautician to keep the copy in his/her records. These fine professionals do so many clients, it is easy for them to forget the fine details of what you discussed and you do not have room for error on your wedding day. This same tip applies for makeup artists.

Budget Tip
In order to maximize a limited budget, consider having the ceremony musicians stay on to play during cocktail hour; many have a minimum hourly commitment anyway and this works well with staying on into cocktail hour.

Etiquette Tip
Although grooming at the table is in poor taste, it is perfectly acceptable for the bride to quickly dab on a little lipstick at the dinner table. Combing hair or putting your hands to your hair anywhere food is served is considered unacceptable for both men and women.

Etiquette Tip
Besides offering activities for children to entertain them and keep them busy at your wedding, there are those weddings where the brides insist on no children whatsoever at the wedding. Etiquette states that you may not put this on your invitation. You may, however, place a note in with the invitation stating that the costs and event space prevent your asking all children under a certain age. You can also let your family and friends know so they may spread the word, too. Having stated this, you must make no exceptions. Outside of your own children or immediate siblings who may be children, inviting one child under your age limit could do irreparable damage and hurt feelings to others.

Honeymoon Travel Tip
Make photocopies of your passport, credit cards and travel documents. Leave a set of copies with family/friends at home; carry one set of copies in your luggage to help recover everything more quickly if your passport or credit cards are stolen.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Megan & Jeremy enjoyed a picture-perfect wedding on the perfect day, 7/7/07. Silver Creek Falls State Park was a wonderful venue for this auspicious day. We enjoyed the photo-ops provided by the South Falls!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Beautiful BeckenRidge...and a beautiful bride!

BeckenRidge Vineyard is a wonderful setting for a wedding, and Alex & Kim's was just magical. This was an unforgettable day for a truly special couple - you can see that everyone had a good time!


Friday, July 6, 2007

It's raining Weddings...

It's high season for weddings, and tomorrow will be my third in as many weeks. (Next weekend, I have TWO! That's a lot for a one-woman shop - well, two-woman including my assistant, Ali.) Here is a page from Lisa & Rob's wedding album. We decided to have some fun with the intermittent showers that 'freshened up' their outdoor wedding.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Summer Solstice Frisbee

Yesterday was the Summer Solstice. Apparently, EVERY day that is reasonable weather is Frisbee day. I caught a group of young people who attend (or attended) West and South High schools playing Frisbee yesterday. If you want to see ALL of the images and you have a MySpace account, visit me at .

Kaneeta - Summer Photography Convention

In another entry, I'll show you the prints I entered in competition, and give you the judge's comments about them. (It's pretty interesting - and I'd love to hear YOUR comments about the judge's comments!)

But for now, let me just say -- yes, I know that these don't look like images of Kaneeta. It's because they're not. I didn't take ONE IMAGE while I was there. When I wasn't in a seminar, I was relaxing at my deck, enjoying the outrageous view (that you will, unfortunately, just have to imagine), and I didn't take the ol' camera out even once.

I rode up with other photographers, and we decided to take the scenic route home along Hwy 211. The van's oil meter starting acting crazy, so we stopped at quaint Colton Market to check it out. Well, they checked it out. I immediately got out my camera and started snapping shots.

This is Colton Lutheran Church, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary. (I know this, because they have a sign proclaiming their accomplishment. I would, too!)