Summer is my favorite time of the year, hands down. I might share that in common with some of you…? I love flip flops, freckles, lemonade, sunshine, water sports… and the list goes on. What I love most is the warm summer light and the long evenings. With or without my camera the Golden Hour, the hour before sunset, is heavenly with it’s soft orange light and promise of beauty.


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I hope you and your family make the most of summer 2014! I recently read a quote online about having limited summers with our children, usually 18. This knowledge makes each summer more precious knowing they are limited. Enjoy the summer, folks, and don’t take it for granted! What do you plan on doing with your family?

melissa tomeoni photography portland, oregon

BABY NEWS & Last Session date for 2014

With the above said, my last session date for 2014 will be at the end of summer, September 30th 2014. I’ll be back next year, this time with 2 kids of my own! Yep, I’m pregnant again! It seems like I was just pregnant with my first, but oh how the time moves quickly. I’m currently 23 weeks along, due mid October. This time I am keeping the gender a surprise for the delivery room. I did find out with my first, Cole, but decided to be surprised with our second. I’m looking forward to that delivery room arrival! I am happy, nervous, joyful, expectant, and anticipating what life will be like with two littles. Please send your parental support my way, I know I’ll need it!

If you haven’t already booked your summer session you can do so online. Head over to melissatomeoni.com or simply click here for the contract page.

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February 05, 2014
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Meet Max! New babies and new parents are some of my favorite people to meet. It’s the love filled glassy eyes and  ear to ear grins. I love hearing life with their baby is better then they expected. No one can explain the love you have for your own child, there are no words. Life gets turned upside down, the routine you knew is gone,  love you were able to give seems to have exploded in your heart to amounts you never knew were possible. Life, specifically new life, is so fresh and pure.

Max’s newborn session was taken in their beautiful modern home in Portland, Oregon. Enough chat… on to the photos.

It seems like it happened overnight. Last year, at this time, I had a newborn. Somehow we hit many milestones over the last 12 months; eating, sitting, crawling, talking, teeth, and  walking have all been checked off. I now have a toddler and my heart explodes with love for him. I know it’s cliche, but your heart can love so much more then you initially give it credit for. I never thought I could love another person as deeply as I do my husband, but it’s possible. Oh so possible.

A few of my favorite phrases this year have been from other mothers… I’m paraphrasing here…

  • “A phase never last longer then a few weeks.” This can be both good and bad.
  • “The days are long but the years are short.” Oh how this rings true! I wish I could go back in time and relive those newborn moments minue the sleep depravation and hormone changes.
  • “The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow, For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow. So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep. I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”  Song for a Fifth Child by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton. I saw this on I someone’s instagram account and it’s been so helpful for me. Both my husband and I love a clean house but we have to let some of that go. Time is better spent loving on people then putting away dishes.

I’ve tried my best to take a few of Cole each month with my “real” camera in addition to snapping away on my iPhone. Now all I have to do is take the time (what is that?) to make his baby book.  He starting walking right after Thanksgiving at 12 months, 3 weeks, right around the same we went to cut down our Christmas tree. It’s a Tomeoni tradition and I’m happy to say this year was a blast. I love seeing my boys happy together… and what mother couldn’t love that toddler belly button in the last image. Happy Holidays!

My Pregnancy recommendations for labor prep and my maternity session.

My suggestions on baby registries!

 

December 16, 2013
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Happy Holidays from my family to yours! Thank you so much for being a part of my 2013, it was a fantastic year both personally and professionally. I watched my son grow into a toddler and I watched my business be blessed with many new and familiar faces this year. What a joy to be surrounded with happy people who value relationships and family just as much as I do.

I hope you enjoy the simple things that make this a beautiful and full life; laughter, cookies, hugs, kisses, conversations and love.

XOXO

November 26, 2013
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“Sisters, sisters. There were never such devoted sisters…” -Irving Berlin

It was such a pleasure to photograph these two sisters earlier this year at George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego. By the way, it’s my new favorite location… this and the Tualatin Wild Life Refuge. It’s so fun when you are able to relate to your clients. I am the oldest of three and my sister is the middle. It’s true- we faught  a lot when we were younger. Mainly the high school years, of course. But now we are closer then ever. We were married to our husbands only 6 months apart, we also have had our babies only 6 months apart. It’s been such a fun blessing to have her as a sister in my life, I couldn’t ask for a more caring person to share live with.

September 12, 2013
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Meet Oscar! This post is a little different from my typical posts– it’s all b&w!

There is classic simplicity that comes with black and white imagery. It’s romantic, it’s striking, it’s clear and clean allowing the subject to really stand out. I learned photography on b&w film, developed my own film and photographs in the darkroom for years so maybe it’s nostalgic too. I love it.

Mom and dad requested more b&w than color for their newborn session with Oscar, I was apply to oblige. In fact, they ordered Oscar on the chair as a 30×40 canvas! I only wish I could see it displayed. I love newborn babies. Why do they have to grow so fast?

August 06, 2013
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Last year I did a write up on the importance of business portraits, specifically online. Today, even more then last year, you are connecting with new friends, old friends, and clients online first and more than you would be in person. Your online impression is not only important, it’s most likely your first and lasting impression! I, myself, always look online when booking professional services. It’s amazing what impression I make of a company or person when looking at their portrait… or lack of one!

Here are a few key idea about what a business portrait should “say”

  • Hello, nice to meet you.
  • Be welcoming.
  • Be professional and polished.
  • You want people to feel like they can work together with you.
  • Appeal and connect with your key clients.
  • A technically correct image is important to present professionalism.

These elements can be brought into any portrait business or personal, studio or outdoors. Here are some examples I recently shot for a local based  Financial Planning firm here in Portland.

What does your business portrait or profile portrait say about you?

Gallery walls are popular right now, the first one I happened to see was 10 years ago while I was studying in Italy. I believe it was actually in Belgium at the Groeninge Museum… all that to say they are classic and not going anywhere. Don’t be afraid of them! They just take a little thought, organization and planning and you can be well on your way to a cohesive wall of art. You can also see more inspiration in my pinterest board.

#1. Uniform. It is very organized,  visually simple and easy to look at. I wanted you to see what it looks like to have them all the same color and size. These happen to all be B&W but color portraits would have the same effect.
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#2 Same color, different sizing. A tad more eclectic and you are not tied to one frame style making it easy to change and grow with. No order, but a balence is achieved by weighing the portrait size on the left and right side of the wall.
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#3 Clustering. This collection also has the ability to grow as your family does. You are not tied to one color/type of frame but still feels cohesive  if you  stick to two framing colors and frame withs.
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#4 Fun. This works because of the spacing is uniform between the pictures and they “fit” together. There is also a color pallet between the frames but it’s much looser then the above options. This wall has the most flexibility to move out as your family grows up, it will continue to work as long as you stick to a few rules such as the placement of the larger portraits and smaller groupings.
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#5 Shelf. This allows for maximum versatility. By simply sticking to a few colors with framing options you can add, subtract and change as you see fit. This would work just as well with color portraits too.
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I love different types of gallery walls for different areas of the house. #1 for the “adult” rooms such as dining and living, #4 if you have younger kids, and I am leaning toward installing a #5 in my living room. I need the versatility! What is your favorite?

I love a good before and after post, don’t you? I love it in photography, furniture, outfits, hair or house renovations. The “before” is a great image, but I think it could be better. You can do this at home in photoshop with 5 easy steps. Read on!

before&after

1. Adjust your shadows. By deepening the blacks in your shadows it brightens color and places a higher contrast on your levels without changing your highlights.

2. Soften Skin. I’ll go into this at another time. It’s far too time consuming to describe here. Wiser women AND men appreciate this but I also use it on newborns, and seniors… and myself!

3. Darken the eyelashes. Annie has had her makeup professionally done and it looks gorgeous! However, makeup doesn’t show as much on camera as it does in real life. I like to darken the last line of all my females to make their eyes stand out.

4. Smooth blemishes and brighten under eye circles. You can do this with your clone tool in Photoshop. It’s my favorite. Simply select an area that is closest to the blemish and replace that color and texture by using the clone tool. It’s important to use a area that is close because of color, highlight and shadow gradations.

5. Brighten eyes. Eyes are the first thing we see when looking at the face. By brightening and erasing veins in the eyes it really draws attention in and makes the face look fresh and alive.

Try it and let me know how it goes!

June 26, 2013
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Last season I worked with a clothing boutique here in Portland, Oregon, Shop Adorn to shoot their 2012 summer lookbook. They are located in NE Portland but also have a huge online presence caring brands such as J Brand, Free PeopleMs. Wood, and Prairie Underground. Order online or pop into the adorable shop on NE Fremont. I also shot the Portland Pendleton Collection 2012 but more on that later…

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