Christmas Tree Hunting with the Quatelas, Storytelling Family Photography in Portland, Oregon

For Holidays we are given these ideals that make the "perfect Holiday" and card images sent out with everyone wearing matching outfits to make sure all our friends know how together our life is. When, in reality, the beauty of Christmas is grace. Beauty in the humble moments. Life doesn't cease being life because it is the Holidays. We can only walk through it where we are and as who we are. Just because it doesn't measure up to a Hallmark card does not make it any less beautiful. In fact, it makes it more.

Kirsten Quatela

The quote I picked for this session is by none other than the mother you see in the photos. Kirsten is a local fine art family & school portrait photographer. And when she has that to say about her session and what it means to her? Well, then it is pointless to try to find anything that could possibly fit better. 

I grew up in rural Oregon, which means there was a Christmas tree farm right up the hill from our house (because, fun fact, Oregon is the top producer of Christmas trees in the US). I have many years memories of driving up the hill in our school bus yellow VW camper van (which coincidentally was my first car... and started rattling when I would hit 50 on the highway). Anyway, remember the yearly battle on who got to pick this year's tree. Every year swearing up and down that my brother got to pick out last year's, so this year it was MY turn. I remember my dad down in the mud sawing the tree while my mom held the top to make sure it didn't crash down on any of us. I remember hot chocolate and cider and miniature horses (because, again, Oregon). What I don't know is if we have any photographs of our yearly excursions. Therefore, having a storytelling session at Christmas tree farm had been on my wish list for some time, so I was definitely on board when Kirsten contacted me with the desire to have her family trip to Lee Farms documented. Lee Farms is definitely bigger than what I was used to as a kid. At Lee's you pick out your tree and then wait for a crew to come by and cut it down for you and they load it up on to the their tractor, bundle it and put it on your car for you! The farms I grew up with are more on the self service end of the spectrum. I suppose that is the difference between a farm in the middle of no where versus a farm that is just outside of Portland.