Monday, March 23, 2009

Photography and Faith

Ya know there sure are a lot of things to believe in nowadays. I suppose it's always been that way. You look back a hundred years ago and laugh a little at the things they believed in. For one, they didn't yet believe in the horseless carriage! The roads were rutted and muddy and while riding to town in your horse-drawn buggy, you might pass as many automobiles then as you would someone riding a tricycle today. Even 20 years ago, nobody believed in cell phones, yet how many people can walk 10 feet without one now? (me :-)
But no matter how times and society changes, certain things remain true for centuries upon centuries, and now I want to say a few things about faith. If you are one of those people who recoil from the discussion of God and the things of faith, then I ask you to check out now. No, better that you listen! For beyond cell phones, cameras, cell-phone cameras, politics, and the latest automobiles, there is one topic that you should place above all others; that of your belief in God. More specifically, what does He mean to YOU, and what do YOU mean to Him?

Think about that until I return to talk a little more. Till then, here's a photo I took that gives me just an inkling of what God is like and part of the answer to the latter part of that previous question.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Mom; 70 Years Ago

I have heard from my sisters that my mom was a bit of a heartbreaker in her younger years. She had me, her 6th of 8 births when she was 30, and by that time had settled well into the life of a housekeeper who worked part time as a secretary. All those years of raising babies could certainly slow a person down, but you wouldn't know it from looking at Mom. She was always ready to go; to meet for lunch (her treat) to spend some time at Capwell's, or to visit someone who might be a shut-in. So no, I never knew of the heartbreaker, and who ever wants to think of their mom that way?! But going through the boxes of photos retreived from her home after her passing I found the photo you see above. I honestly have never seen this photo before, but truly love it. By the date on the back, my mom is only 14 years old, but her charm is so evident.

It's not a great photo in any technical sense; the lighting is a little over-exposed, the angle of view makes her legs look large, but it's a great portrait in that it very much shows her personality, charm, and a little of the element that made my dad fall head over heals in love with her that blind date on Treasure Island in the San Francisco bay. And for that, it is priceless to me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Portrait Photography Through the Ages

As a modern day portrait photographer and a member of the great digital society, I am sometimes overwhelmed with technology that is too often taken for granted. Because of the ease of digital photography so many photos are taken and relatively few ever get printed, let alone find a deserved place on someone's wall or desk top. I pray that we never forget how important portrait photography is in documenting the brief lives of loved ones' days and years spent on this earth. For many who've gone before us; grandparents and great grandparents, a photograph or two might be all we have to show they walked this earth, and ideally expresses a little bit of who they were.

My mom recently passed away at the young age of 83. Over the past few months I've spent time in my parents' home of 50-plus years. I was elated to find some precious photographs, some with dates and documentation, some with little or no info. Thankfully, my mom's father was an avid amatuer photographer, and many of these photos were the fruit of his passion to document friends, travels, co-workers and his own large family.
I want to talk some more about this in coming blogs, but for now I will post a single photo that I find very charming. It's one Grandfather likely took; I recognize the backyard of their home in Berkeley. It's of my mom and her 5 siblings. She was the youngest, that little smiling gem, and would be 13 years old when this was taken. Without photography, how could I ever enjoy this moment captured 70 years later. God bless! Andy
Be sure to visit our newly updated website today:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Downtown Portland Senior Photography

At Front Street Photo we have numerous outdoor locations for photographing high school seniors and families, but we love the chance to run around downtown and use some of the photographic opportunities in Northwest Portland. Today Pam and I were on 23rd Avenue for lunch at Pepino's - a pretty authentic Mexican food restaurant with very good prices and great fish tacos. While we were walking around enjoying the fresh air I recalled the last time I was there to photograph Canby High senior Charlie Gesik and his charming girlfriend Audra.

It was a beautiful, if not a little cold, day and we took advantage of quite a few locations within about a 4 block area. When we decided we'd got enough shots to work with we took a slow walk back to the car and I handed my camera to Audra to let her scroll through the thumbnails with Charlie looking over her shoulder. Iknew I had done my job well from the several dozen times I heard her exclaim "Oh...I like that one!"

Let us know if you'd like to take an afternoon downtown for your own senior or couple portraits. We would love to be a part of it. To see more of our work be sure to stop by

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Rainy Day Remembrances Oregon Photography Style

Well, when our family announced in 1984 that we were moving to Oregon, all our California friends told us "It rains there ALL the time!" I almost believed them, but I knew it snowed some too....and don't forget the fog!

This afternoon I worked on family portraits for the Daniels family whose son Caleb came here to Front Street Photo for his senior portraits. We had a blast, not only because Caleb is a great kid, but because at the end of his session all his siblings joined mom and dad; Kimberly and Ken for a family portrait. We shot some in the backyard and then moved to the fromt yard. I am attaching one of the photos they selected. I like it because it shows a true family "togetherness" and the obvious love that Kimberly and Ken share. I asked him to give her a hug, and there was no hesitation whatsoever. :-)
I hope we'll see your whole family here in Hubbard Oregon for family photos very soon. Till then, have a look at our new website today: for more great family portraits.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Beautiful Oregon Day at Front Street Photo

Yes I have so much Front Street Photo work to do today and I am doing my best to stay focused, but the day with it's freah air and warm sun is calling me outside. The yard is beginning to green up again and if you look close you can see little spring buds here and there. I know that if I go outside, Oregon photography will not be my main focus. Instead, I will probably pick up a shovel or a saw and start prepping our yard for spring.
If you've never come for a visit, I hope you will plan on doing so soon. Whether it is for senior portraits, or family photography, Front Street Photo is such a little garden of Eden for us. We even have an apple tree!
Back later when I have more exciting news to share, and in the mean time, keep watching for our new updated website at

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Being a Photographer in Oregon in March

Greetings and Welcome to my Photography based blog. Yes, I know the title "Andy McDavid's Front Street Photo Blog" is terribly inventive. It took me all of 3 minutes to come up with and I suppose it will have to do. Today was my first full day back home after spending a week in Califronia. I honestly did little related to photography today at all.
I am presently waiting patiently for my new website to be published and am a little distraught that in this "speedy gonzales presto it's done" world in which we live, that it's not ready yet. It's been close to 40 hours sonce turning it over to the hosting company, that company who shall remain nameless to protect the innocent.
But what I did do today was to get out into my back yard and saw a lot of trees and branches. Now that's exciting!....and somewhat painful now....and I also got my burn pile down to almost nothing; hooray! (it's been sitting waiting for it to be dry enough to burn and today Praise God was the day) So, no, I did not pick up my camera, and I barely opened Photoshop but to create a photo for this blog header, and I put off really doing much photo-related work for one more day. But tomorrow things WILL change, and Lord willing and David Jay (oops!) comes through, my new website; will be online. Stay tuned!

What am I doing here?

Yes, I am sure that's a question many of us have asked at some point in our life. If we are honest with ourselves we know there are days when nothing seems to make sense.
Well, if you are wondering that yourself, I should hope to return to that topic soon.
In the meantime, here I am writing my very first blog post with just the slightest tinge of that "what am I doing here" feeling. This too shall pass!

As a portrait photographer and wedding photographer, and as incoming president of The Professional Photographers of Oregon, I am constantly thinking about how to improve not only my own photography and health of my business, but I also desire to see others succeed in the same business. In coming posts I hope to direct you to those whose work inspires me, and also share my own photography with you. May this be a learning and growing adventure for all of us!