best of 2018

twenty EIGHTEEN - Year in review

2018… what a year that was. 

It threw my family some curveballs. But we grew stronger, together. It was the year I learned how fast life will pass us by if we don’t actively choose to hold on and move with the winds. 

It was the year I chose to say yes. To what exactly? 

First and foremost, Jesus. Saying yes to Him and His purpose for me on this earth has filled my cup and allowed me to overflow into others. 

I said yes to discomfort. I befriended strangers. I had hard conversations. I learned to be confident and stand my ground. I learned how discomforting it is to be rejected and grew from it. I didn’t let one ‘no’ set me back from many future yeses in my business. 

I said yes to investing in my education and networking with other incredible creatives in the industry. I learned so much from each and every person I have had the chance to meet this year. 

Saying yes to new things led me to find my truest self and my passions. 

Just this Sunday we talked about John 3 v1-8 and talked about what it means to be “born again.” I resonated so hard with every word because by me saying yes to this new life with Jesus at my core, I said goodbye to my past one. I walked into the unknown with Him being my light. I trusted in Him because I believed He wouldn’t let me down. I believed in His purpose for me and chose to serve His children with it. He gave me this gift of photography and I have not once doubted Him. He broke the chains for me and set me free. He showed me that I don’t have to live in a box, but that I can go share this gift with people across His creations. He gave me the courage to take on a business and trust that I could do this before I was even 21 years old. He crossed my path with people who changed my perspectives of life and love. 

What came from 2018 was a happy heart. A soul that is moved by moments. A memory that was restored. An eagerness to keep asking for more from Him because through Him, all things are possible. A ton of new friendships. A clear vision of what my future can be. 

Most importantly, a very humbled and grateful Emily. 

I want to thank all of you who read this, who have been apart of my journey, who have allowed me to photograph a moment or moments in your life, who trusted me with your stories, and for those of you who will gift me with the chance to be apart of yours in the future. 

I had the pleasure of being apart of 10 wedding days this year and I doubled that for 2019 before the year was over… Like what?! You guys are amazing!! I cannot even tell you how much I love this job. Nothing I have experienced has ever lit me with passion more than photography. So thank you for believing in me and investing in my dreams, too. You all seriously mean so much to me.

I have attached an image or a series of images from every session I shot this year, and as I was building this blog I couldn’t help but be amazed at how this was all accomplished in my first year doing photography professionally. I cannot wait to even see what 2019 has in store! 

To those beautiful couples at the bottom of this post, I wholeheartedly want to just give the biggest thanks for being the first ones to put their trust in me to capture your wedding days and show me how much I love what I get to do. It’s because of you that my soul gets set on fire with every new opportunity that comes along. It’s because of you that I proved to myself that I can do whatever I set my heart to. You all are why I love what I get to everyday. You all fill my cup and it has been the biggest pleasure serving each and every one of you.

To all my present and future couples, let’s friggen do the dang thing! This is your year and I cannot wait to celebrate in your memories with you forever! 2019, let’s goooooo!!

xoxo, 

Emily

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Flinn Block Hall Elopement // Josh + Miranda // Albany, Oregon


 

Workshop: @moniqueserraphotography
Style and design: @maeandco_creative 
Florals: @goodseedfloral
Hand lettering: @oldcity_mailroom
Cake: @caydeeanne
Rentals: @something_borrowed_pdx
Bridal boutique: @aandbe_portland
Dress designer: @alexandragrecco
Hair and makeup: @hair_by_alex.radekin
Venue: @flinn_block_hall
Videography: @goodcostudios 
Models: @mirandavettrus

PHOTOS BY: @emilyvandeheyphotography

 

Pacific University Senior Session // Shannon // Forest Grove, Oregon

"you are so much more than I ever imagined"

DEAR SHANNON,

I am so proud of the person you have become. When I became a dad I wanted nothing more than to raise honest, caring and successful kids. I am writing this to tell you that you are so much more than I ever imagined. You over achieve in everything you do and are one of the nicest and most sincere people I've ever been around. You have been a major success in everything you have done and I know you will have plenty of success in your professional career - you just don't fail. I could not be more proud of the woman you have become, and look forward to watching you take on the next challenge head on just like always.

Love,

DAD


Sunrise Couples Session // Grayson + Rylee // Lincoln City, Oregon

"We have the world in front of us, and I believe together we can do anything"

DEAR RYLEE,

You have shown me what true love is like from the beginning, and it hasn’t subsided one ounce. You have brought me so much joy and happiness just by being the person you are, and loving me with all of your heart. I try and think about where I would be in life if I would have never met you, and I just cannot imagine it. One of my favorite memories with you was when we went up to the snow for the weekend, it was probably the best time we have had together and if I could do that all over again with you a million times I would in a heart beat.

We have the world in front of us, and I believe together we can do anything we want and still hold that bond, that love we have for each other every step of the way.

I love you so much Rylee, and I am truly happy and grateful to call you mine.

-G


DEAR GRAYSON,

What’s great about us is we are total opposite while being completely the same person. We pick on each other, laugh at each other, love on each other. My interests are you and yours, and us and our dogs, and what our lives are and will be someday.

I promise to always let you cook, even if it’s my recipe. I promise to always say yes to going to the beach, even when it’s storming. I promise to be by your side always, but leave you alone be when you need it.

I can’t imagine life in any alternate universe with out you being there - you make me the best version of myself in every sense. I love you GMF.

-R

Silver Falls Couples Session // Kamillah + Pastor // Sublimity, Oregon

"you created a new standard and taught me what it means to love"

DEAR KAMILLAH,

I wasn’t looking for anything yet I found everything. While my feelings for you are unparalleled to anything else, I couldn’t exactly say that I fell in love with you. I know, that sounds weird but, it’s true. It’s true because if I would’ve fallen in love with you, it wouldn’t have been as true and genuine.

Of course, I still would have dropped my jaw at every sight of your beautiful self coming around a corner. And yes, I still would have smiled so hard that the my eyes closed shut every single time you made a goofy face or a cute smirk. Rather than falling in love, you created a new standard and taught me what it means to love.

Your caring, selfless, and genuine actions have redefined what it means to me. You’ve reframed love into a balanced trade of acts. To support one another unselfishly, to make each other smile, and to help one another aim to be the best versions of themselves.

Kamillah, my appreciation for you has continued to flow over the bucket of any and all expectations that I could have had for someone. You do what’s right when you’re in the spot light and you do more than you have to when no one is watching; Even if it’s at the expense of your own well being.

I never have, nor will I ever, ask you to be such a support beam for me. I just hope you know that I treasure your acts of genuine care for me and I in turn promise to give you that same amount of effort and affection that you deserve.

You’ve worked for everything you have, just about raised yourself, and proven to be the strongest woman that I’ve ever met. You’ve astonished me with how far you’ve come regardless of your previous circumstances, and I aim to be the person who recognizes you for everything that you’ve done and will do in the future.

I know that I’ve never been loved as much as you love me and I’m even more positive that I never have nor will love someone as much as I continue to love you.

-P


DEAR PASTOR,

Oh my love...where do I start? I could write about you for hours on end. I never thought that I would be lucky enough to meet the man of my dreams at just 18 years old. Some people wait their WHOLE LIFE to find what we have together. To say that I am blessed to be where I am today would be beyond an understatement because you have truly changed my life. You raise me up in my weakest moments and turn them around to make me feel like I’m on top of the world. You are my calm in the craziest of storms, my literal shoulder to cry on, my voice of reason, my greatest supporter, and the love of my life. There are simply no words for the way you make me feel. I am so thrilled to take on life, to grow and to learn with you and I find peace in knowing that whatever craziness life throws at us, we will always have each other to depend on.

Si supieras cuanto te quiero, Pastor Garcia.

All my love,

-K

Cathedral Park Couples Session // Alexis + Parker // Portland, Oregon

"The day I first met you I was stopped in my tracks"

DEAR ALEXIS,

I am so in love with being in love with you. I never knew what true love was until you came into my world and opened up my mind and heart to the most beautiful life I could ever imagine. I never thought a life or a love like this was possible. That day we met, locked eyes, and both were at a loss for words, I knew I was done for and absolutely without a doubt, knew you were the one for me. Every day we spend together is the best day of my life.

I so so so so admire your creativity and craftiness and the way you somehow make these beautiful works of art in our perfect apartment. You make me laugh harder than anyone I have ever met and I love how much we play! You make me feel like a king, and so incredibly loved from the second I wake up to your beautiful face, to the moment we fall asleep in each other’s arms. I still think it’s unbelievable how much we have in common. How do we keep copying each other and finding out new similarities every day?! It’s like we’re the same person and I love it.

Thank you for always pushing me to be my crazy, weird, and insane self like no one ever has! Thank you for always encouraging my bad behavior. I’ve never met such a bad influence who brings out the absolute best in me. Thank you for going along with my jokes and being my partner in crime when we prank and annoy people.

Throughout my life, I had always heard that cliché line that talks about “love at first sight”. I never thought that was a real thing and only something you saw in movies or just maybe in your dreams if you were one of the lucky ones. It always kept me up late at night wondering if my true love was actually out there in the world; and then came the day I met you. I finally understood what love at first sight was. Our love is the definition of love at first sight, and every single day I continue to fall more and more in love with you and I will never stop loving you, cherishing you, and spoiling you like the princess that you are. You are my person, the love of my life, and the most beautiful work of art I have ever seen.

I love you most.

-P


DEAR PARKER,

I love it how every single day we play and play, because you are the

love of my life and I'm here to stay.

I love it that your touch sends electric pulses down my spine,

In which now I forever want you to be mine.

I love it when you look at me

With those precious blue eyes,

And you know what else I love,

when you lick between my thighs.

I love it how you laugh to know end and that smile gets so bright,

To me that is one of my favorite things I will cherish, and hold you

forever so very tight.

I love it when I get into bed and you tuck me in, I have literally

the biggest most cheerful grin

The way you love me is something like I never could have known,

And now our hearts together are ours to own

The day I first met you I was stopped in my tracks,

I was speechless, breathless, had a heart attack

-A

Lakeside Couples Session // Clay + Rebecka // Vernonia, Oregon

"I never knew love until you took in my puppy as your own, and made him ours"

DEAR REBECKA,

I promise to always be there for you, I can’t promise you the world, I can’t promise you we won't fight, and I can’t promise you there won’t be tears. But I can promise you, Rebecka, that I will always love you with all of my heart.

-C


DEAR CLAY,

I can never stop being thankful for the genuine smile you put on my face. My promise to you is to always push you to achieve your best. I choose you because you’re continuously there for me, loving me with all you have. I am grateful for all the nights you let me put my cold feet on you, you take a sharp breath in, but put up with it. I never knew love until you took in my puppy as your own, and made him ours. what I look forward to most is you chasing our little kids around in the house just like you do with our pup.

-R

Sauvies Island Beach Session // Donald + Katie // Portland, Oregon

"something about you I just had to have"

DEAR KATIE,

The first thing that caught my eye was your smile at the lake, then I sat back and watched as your beautiful personality spilt out. From that day I knew there was something about you and I just had to have. From that day we grew closer and closer. Until we became almost inseparable. It was then I knew that you were the one. From that day I fell in love with you over and over again, but a little harder than the last time. It was then that I knew I couldn’t live without you.

-D


DEAR DONNY,

I’ve gone to school with you for years and have passed you in the halls who knows how many times. Never would I have thought that going to a lake with mutual friends would have lead to the amazing relationship that we have. I love to talk about it so you probably already know, but I knew I had a thing for you the second you reached for my hand to help me out of the truck. To me, that is where it all started. Here we are almost two years later and I can’t help but become overjoyed with the thoughts of someday marrying you, sharing a home with you, and raising kids with you. I can say with so much confidence that I will be with you for the rest of my life, and I promise you that. I am so thankful for you and your kind heart and I am not sure how I got so lucky, but thank you for being who you are and for always continuing to love me. I love you Donald Thomas McClean.

-K

Rowena Crest Couples Session // Bailey + Kaitlyn // The Dalles, Oregon

"I will love you for as long as the universe allows"

DEAR BAILEY,

you never fail to make me laugh with your constant sarcasm and wit. you probably know more about me that you should. like my terrible weird picky food habits, but you still constantly try to get me to eat new things (even though we both know I won’t.) Thank you for being my greatest adventure buddy, and better half.

“you are my sun and all my stars and I will love you for as long as the universe allows.”

-K


DEAR KAITLYN,

words can’t describe how special you are to me. you are beautiful in every essence of the word. I’ve never met somebody so caring and loving. Before I met you I was experiencing the darkest days of my life, thank you for being my light.

- B

 

jacob

HE'S GOING PLACES

this man has so much ambition, intelligence, heart and passion for all that he does and strives to do. I have the upmost faith in all of his dreams because of the determination that he has to achieve them. 

he and I can relate on a photography level, and being beat out of the ASB president title by just a handful of votes. I admired his perseverance to then set another goal and surpass it. he is now the president of the robotics team, applying to all the big schools like USC, University of San Diego, Seattle University and U of O. he is striving to pursue an education in physics. we are hopeful that his journey after graduation will guide him to the southern region of California. 

jacob has his two older siblings to look up to, and a brother who has been waiting for this chapter in his life to finally roll around so he can show him the ropes in college, and all that comes with new freedoms. 

it was a pleasure sharing in these memories with you, jacob. I look forward to following friday night football games where we all get to see you live out your passions on the field. 

cheers to you, and the final year before the fun really begins!