A family wearing blue and white poses for pictures at Elk Rock Island in lake Oswego

By Sun & Sparrow

The Oliveria family had a whimsical spring photo session at Elk Rock Island, and I was so happy to be the Lake Oswego family photographer to take their photos. All of the beautiful spaces on the island made for a wonderful, dreamy session that tells a story of a growing family, with so much love between them. Come on this Journey through their beautiful Lake Oswego Family Photo session.

Table of Contents

  • Elk Rock Island Near Lake Oswego: Perfect For Whimsical Family Photos
    • Lake Oswego
    • Elk Rock Island
  • The Oliveria Family
  • Four Dreamy Locations for Elk Rock Island Family Session Photos
    • The Big Log On Elk Rock Island
    • A Grassy Patch With Yellow Flowers
    • Small Cliffs That Showcase the Willamette River, Elk Rock Garden, and The Lake Oswego Railroad Bridge
  • Lake Oswego Family Photographer
    • Working With Children
    • Creating Moments Of Connection
    • Finding Ideal Frames Within a Location
  • Book Your Lake Oswego Family Photo Session Today!

Elk Rock Island Near Lake Oswego: Perfect For Whimsical Family Photos

Lake Oswego

A one year old boy sitting on a white blanket near the Willamette River in Oregon during a Lake Oswego Family Photo Session

Lake Oswego is a gorgeous little place about seven miles south of Portland Oregon. The town has many beautiful parks and restaurants, and has become one of our favorite places to visit in the Portland Metro area. The city has a large lake, called Oswego Lake that was notably carved out by the Tualatin River, before it changed course, and not the Willamette River Nearby. My family has been on lots of little adventures visiting spots in this charming area.

Elk Rock Island

A little girl in white holds a purple flower and her parents swing her During their Family Photoshoot in Lake Oswego

Elk Rock Island, is a small island on the Willamette River near Lake Oswego, but located in the City of Milwaukie, Oregon. The Island has seven different unique habitats and was once part of an active volcano. As a result, the island, and the surrounding areas, are perfect for photo sessions of every kind!

When you arrive at the Island you park above it near a park, nestled in a cute neighborhood. The path down to the Island is full of gorgeous views of the river, foliage, and sometimes a nearby bridge. I love having sessions here, and can’t wait to show you this one!

The Oliveria Family

A family poses for Family Photos at Elk Rock Island in Lake Oswego, Oregon

The Oliveria family was wonderful to work with. They were really joyful and silly people, laughing and having a great time at our session. they were incredibly patient and kind with their children. Their daughter started off, like many children at photo sessions, feeling pretty shy, so it was nice to see how patient and encouraging they were with her. Eventutally she felt comfortable and the we had a magical session.

Nancy was incredibly positive and trusting, while her husband was incredibly supportive. Altogether the were a beautifully bubbly family, trusting that I had a vision for the session. They were fully on board with standing in interesting places to get all of the gorgeous shots that fit my vision for the session.

I always want to work with you to create a vision for your photo session. This was one of those fun sessions where the clients loved my work and chose me because our visions aligned. I talked to her about the approach we should take for this session, which was for her one year old son.

I said that what I want to do is to capture the full family around him because nobody is who they are without the people around them. So, my goal was to capture the family together and their interactions with the baby. Capturing their reaction to the baby and their connection represents the moments and memories that they have created so far in his life.

Four Dreamy Locations for Elk Rock Island Family Session Photos

Elk Rock Island feels like the perfect place for a Lake Oswego Family Photographer to have sessions. After you park there is a cute playground to entertain your kids, and after a small hike down you get to the Island, on the Willamette.

Once You’re on Elk Rock Island, there are tons of opportunities for beautiful photographs, and we made sure to hit a few of my favorite spots during this session. Here are four of the beautiful photo Locations the Island offers!

The Big Log On Elk Rock Island

A family poses near a fallen log on Elk Rock Island on the Willamette River

I love to use logs because they create leading lines and an ambiance of wilderness even though Elk Rock Island is tucked right into a neighborhood. Photos like this are a wonderful way to incorporate real nature into your family photos, highlighting the dreamy wonder of your experience. I especially love seeing the little boy in this picture looking at his older sister!

A Grassy Patch With Yellow Flowers

A mother smiles as she holds up her one year old son during her Elk Rock Island Photo Session

Flowers and grass add whimsey and color to your session, highlighting special moments.

Small Cliffs That Showcase the Willamette River, Elk Rock Garden, and The Lake Oswego Railroad Bridge

The Willamettte River from Elk Rock Island, featuring the Lake Oswego Railroad Bridge
A Mother and Father lift their children up during their Whimsical Lake Oswego Family Photo Session

One of my favorite features of Elk Rock Island is a section of cliffs with a gorgeous view of the Willamette river one one side and the cliffs of Elk Rock Garden on the other. The Lake Oswego Railroad bridge brings in a classic old American feel to the session and in this case we were lucky enough to have large groups of migrating birds flying above us.

Lake Oswego Family Photographer

When I photograph a family session there are several things I’m always looking for. When I’m working with children I always do my best to make them feel safe. This might be the first time that they’ve seen a person holding a big camera, or the first time that they’ve been posed so its important for them to know that I’m not there to judge them or take anything away, and that I want it to be fun and silly.

Oftentimes, childrens’ attention spans are very small so I try to gear the session around the kids’ energies and personalities so we’re not only creating real moments but capturing the whole person. If you want to know more about preparing young children for a photo session, read all about our tips and tricks at our blog!

How To Prepare Young Children For A Family Photo Session

Working With Children

A one year old in a basket with white linen on Elk Rock Island, by a Lake Oswego Family Photographer
A young girl picks a flower on a path at Elk Rock Island in Lake Oswego during their Family Photo session

This session was mostly about the youngest. The family didn’t have newborn photos done with them and they wanted to celebrate him. She asked me what I wanted to do and I said that I wanted to document something that represents his real life. That means moments of connection, like moments with his sister, the love in their eyes for him and their sense of wonder.

Creating Moments Of Connection

A mother and father hold their toddler and smile with him during a family photo session in Lake Oswego

Creating a sense of connection is all about trying to get people to look each other in the eyes to create a sense of sentiment. Oftentimes people giggle when they look each other in the eyes for various reasons, and that becomes real connection. By the end, people connect over how much fun they’re having, creating a sense of adventure and joy!

I try to create memories of the connection as well as posed portraits. While I work with posing, I always keep in mind that it’s more than an image, its an experience.

Finding Ideal Frames Within a Location

A mama holds her one year old in one arm while looking into her toddler's eyes, photographed by her Lake Oswego Family Photographer

As a dreamy Lake Oswego Family Photographer, I love creating whimsical images with what we have around us. I always make sure to be intentional about the way I frame your images and surprising you with images you never imagined is a big part of that. These two flower bushes look perfectly placed in this image but they were actually far apart. By angling myself correctly I was able to frame them between the bushes, that gave the photo whimsical, spring and garden feel.

Book Your Lake Oswego Family Photo Session Today!

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