Sandpoint Idaho has literally been described as one of the most Beautiful Small Towns in America.  Surrounded by this beauty must be inspiring right?

Of course it is; however, we can grow too accustom to what surrounds us, even take it for granted.  Lately, I found myself picking up my camera because I was being paid to, I couldn't remember the last time I had picked up my camera because I was inspired to.

Lucky for me we had just the cure, a temporary change in view.  Our every other year trip to the east coast, more specifically- the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  Even more specific than that Emerald Isle- one of my favorite beaches in the Outer Bank chain.  It's a close call, for me, between Emerald Isle and Kure Beach (to sound like a local make sure you say Kure correctly, it sounds exactly like curry the yummy cuisine).

So my family and I traveled 2,739 miles from Sandpoint Idaho to  Emerald Isle NC.  Talk about long travel days.  But the beauty of the Outer Banks is so rich and green.  The rhythm of the ocean so peaceful.  There it was, that feeling of, "I must capture this!  I love this!"

A great week with family, memories that we will always have thanks to modern technology and digital backup!

Some of my favorite pics from the week :)

Same old view; A Different Lens


 Landscape and the beauty of the area I live in is what drew me into the world of photography.  If you haven't ever visited Sandpoint Idaho I highly recommend you do a drive through.  It is gorgeous, no, stunning!!

 With inspiration literally all around me one wouldn't think that my passion for landscape would grow cold, but is has- I've been focusing on my portrait photography trying to master new techniques and build a client base.

 However, I was  recently listening to one of my favorite podcasts (Improve Photography) and the round table discussion was specific to improving landscape shots. My mind drifted.."I used to do that" so I paid attention.  One of the guests was recalling some advice he had gotten about landscape photography- pardon me as I summarize, but it was along the lines of 'visit the same location over and over'  and 'take a different lens with you.'  I thought, "he's so right some of the best photos are of landscapes I have shot multiple times, because I new the view and I knew when it was going to be its most beautiful.  


The photos below are literally the view from my backyard, I KNOW this view so well, I can tell you where the sun will set on the mountain side at any time of the year, I love to scoop up the delicious light that comes during the 'golden hour.'

Quite possibly my most favorite image I've ever taken...

The other part of the discussion regarding 'take a different' lens also resonated with me- so many times I grab my 24-70mm or 35mm because I know them, feel familiar with them.  Inspired by the discussion, last weekend I grabbed the 70-300 that came with my camera, by most professional accounts a lens that is not worth much, but it's the only 'zoom' lens in my arsenal.  

So what happened?  I hated it!!! LOL!!  It felt so awkward to me and I kept thinking, "I wish I had a wider lens."  BUT- it also challenged me to think outside of the box and to get away from my typical style of shots.  It made me look at the view in a completely different way.  The photos below are not 'my view' but they were taken with my 70-300 kit lens while huckleberry picking high up in the Idaho mountains :)

Will I take that lens again?  That remains to be seen, but I certainly appreciated the challenge of making it work and the opportunity to see the world throgh a different lens.

I did find one with 'my view' and my 'kit lens' LOL!  The image below :)

This is shot with the 70-300mm kit lens, it is also a collage of two photos stiched together in the middle to create a panoramic effect

A trip to Oregon wine country, just me, 2 friends and my 35…

A trip to Oregon wine country,

just me, 2 friends and my 35…



Sometimes a photographer needs a new view and sometimes a mom just needs to get away…  I decided to combine both and took a trip to Oregon wine country with two friends and my 35 mm lens.

Choosing what lens to bring is not easy, my go to is the Nikon 24-70, this lens is a work horse and basically shoots everything.  The downside- it is a beast not only in accomplishments but in weight.  Not ideal for a carry-on only travel situation. 

Great aspects of the 35mm:  1) By choosing a prime lens (aka no zoom capabilities = smaller than other lenses)  I can literally throw my camera in my purse, no lugging extra bags, covers etc.  2) It challenges me to use my feet again 3) The Nikon 35mm is wicked sharp and great in low lighting. 

But enough about the gear.  If you have not experienced Oregon wine country, I promise it is a trip worth taking.


We started out by renting a home in McMinnville OR.  Ours was listed on Air BnB, the location was spectacular and the home was gorgeous.  Lots of wine tasting in downtown McMinnville so I would recommend finding a place within walking distance (fyi there is no Uber in Oregon).

On our first day in wine country we scheduled a private winery tour through A Vineyard Wine Tour.  Absolutely worth every penny.  They picked us up at our house at 10:30 and chauffeured us to 4 different wineries in the area.  Our tour guide (Jess) was so sweet and very knowledgeable about the area and wine making process.  The tour also included a gourmet lunch, snacks and water.

Our first stop was Soter Vineyards.  When you think of a vineyard, this is the quintessential example. We were greeted by our tour guide with a huge smile and three glasses of Rose.  As soon as I saw her approach us I heard the ‘click’ that goes off in my brain when I wish I had my camera in hand.   She gave us a tour and tons of information on the wines and the area.  If you plan a visit here, be sure to try the ‘bubbles.’  This sparkling wine is delicious and has an endearing story.   

After that we stopped at our second winery Durant Vineyards. Jess laid out a gourmet lunch with all the fixings.  The table was set next to a cozy fire, the staff was friendly and the wine was scrumptious.  This vineyard also makes/sells fresh local Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

The third stop was at Granville Wines. Hands down- our favorite parts of the day.  The lodge sits on top of a hill with 360 degrees of gorgeous views.  We also got the chance to sit down with the winery owner, Jackson Holstein; learned so much about the wine making process and really felt like we were getting an insiders peek into the wine making world.  The wine was some of our favorite! 

Our last stop was Yamhill Valley Winery.  I know it gets old, but you can’t beat the views of Oregon wine country.  Gorgeous! The real treat here was our tasting guide Linda.  She has such a passion for wine and entertaining her customers.  We were invited to go down and taste directly from the barrels and see where the wine is bottled.  A great end to a fabulous day.

Overall,  the credit has to go to A Vineyard Wine tour for setting up the perfect day.  Each winery was unique and all served us outstanding wines from Rose to Pinot Noir. 

The rest of our trip was filled with more wine tasting in downtown McMinville.  Willamette Valley Vineyards was one of our favorite tasting rooms and they also sell “It’s Willamette Dammit” T-shirts.  Willamette is often mispronounced, so if you do end up going, just make sure the way you say it rhymes with Dammit. LOL!

Please don't trust your phone...

While smart phones are getting smarter every day and phone cameras are getting better every model-  I learned the hard way not to trust archiving your memories to your phone.

Recently, I downloaded Shutterfly*  which allows you to grab photos directly from your phone, have them printed for free then shipped to you for a determined price.  I had hordes of images on my phone that I was sure would be lost one day by damage to the phone or some other freak accident. Getting them printed seemed like an easy solution.  I uploaded 122 images, was really impressed by how quickly it went, and payed 11.62 to have them shipped to me.  That comes out to approximately 9 cents per image. Not bad.

I was so excited to see the orange envelopes arrive; however, as I started flipping through my memories I was totally bummed.   I noticed how poor the quality was of each image.  They were grainy and some were down right out of focus.  These characteristics were not apparent when viewed on my phone.  Do I regret having the images printed?  No, it’s still fun to have the physical images on hand, regardless of quality.  BUT will I be more inclined to grab my ‘real’ camera as we head out the door? Absolutely! 

And if you want quality images you can hang on your wall be sure to call a Pro, you won’t regret it!!! Every time you walk by that gorgeous canvas or framed print you will be so glad you finally scheduled your photo session.  And don’t wait for your kids to be ‘Seniors’ before you get their portraits taken, there are pieces of them that will change from year to year and those are the little details you will want to hold onto forever.

Little Orange House Family Sessions are 175.00, includes your digital images.

Child portrait sessions are $55.00, includes your digital images.

*I have no affiliation with Shutterfly



Stubborn Teenager?

Can't get your teenager in-front of the camera?


    After chatting with a few close friends I've come to find that when it comes to teenagers THE STRUGGLE IS REAL, lol!  Apparently, once your kids can think and drive for themselves, it's no cake walk.  So why pick the battle of making them get photographed???  I'll tell you one reason-- because even when you are dealing with them in the midst of the hormonal soup that seems to be drowning them, one day they will be walking out of your door to start a life of their own.  Your baby will be all grown up and the photos of them being who they were at each stage of life will become priceless.  I promise you, getting photos of your children will never be a regret.  

  Is forcing a photo session a hill worth dying on?...probably not.  BUT I think I've come up with a solution to help soften the blow.  Instead of trying to talk them into a full length 1.5-2 hour photo session, try meeting in the middle with a 'Simple Senior Session' by Little Orange House Photography.  Voila! Problem solved :)   

  The 'Simple Senior Session' is just that, simple.  The time length is either 20 or 40 minutes depending on the package you choose. Choose the location or I can recommend one.  I promise to make it as painless as possible for them and you.  The digital images are included in the price of the package.

Standard Package: 20 minutes of session time, one location, as many outfit changes as desired, 5-7 edited images. Cost: $50.00

Premium Package: 40 minutes of session time, one location, as many outfit changes as desired, 10-12 edited images.  Cost: $100.00

Good luck Moms and Dads, may the force be with you :)


Senior Gallery

What do I wear?

Photo Shoot Wardrobe??  Is your mind drawing blanks?


Can't figure out what to wear? That's okay!!  Booking with a professional photographer not only gets you quality images that will last a lifetime-but a vast amount of knowledge as well.  Here are some of my favorite tips (please keep in mind most of these tips are my personal preferences formed by being photographed myself, they are what I've found to follow that allow me to be happy with the outcome when photographed-not everyone should follow these tips, the most important thing is to feel comfortable in front of the camera) 

1-Check out Pinterest- I have a board called 'What do I wear' on my Pinterest page, with ideas that work well and other pics of inspiration.

2-Avoid Horizontal Stripes- this is just one of my personal preferences, as a broader woman, horizontal stripes do not serve me well, LOL!

3-Another personal preference is- I avoid wearing white in photo-shoots (mostly barbecue I'm sensitive about my size), but if you have a white sundress that you like to rock, go for it! 

4-Avoid florescent colors- these can be a challenge to keep evenly toned in a photograph causing one subject to stand out more than the others.

5-Make sure your outfit is comfortable and fits well.  Being in front of the camera can feel stressful, nothing is worse than also having to worry about under garments showing, buttons popping, etc.

6-Before you leave the house, be sure to sit down in-front of a mirror.  I know, that sounds weird! But often times in a Family or Senior Session some of the poses are seated.  It's best to figure out before hand what materials/outfits work and which do not.