Posts Tagged: Backlighting

Love in the Riotous Beauty of Cherry Blossoms – Engagement

Portland’s Japanese American Historical Plaza is a scene of riotous beauty every spring. Fluffy, light-filled cherry blossom stretch along the city’s waterfront begging lovers to smooch and dance and celebrate the season hand in hand. The plaza is a spectacular stage for engagement portraits. Can you think of a more romantic scene in the Pacific Northwest for couple’s photography? Please leave a comment and share your ideas as I would love to check them out.
Spring cherry blossoms and love at Japanese American Historical Plaza in Portland, Oregon
Whispering sweet nothings at Portland's Japanese American PlazaPeekaboo in the cherry trees at the Japanese American Historical Plaza in Portland, OregonSpring cherry blossoms and love at Japanese American Historical Plaza in Portland, Oregon

Golden Highlights of Marisa – Senior Sunday Portraits

Marisa Whitley, Sherwood High School Senior, portraits by Angie Windheim PhotographyMarisa is gold. Her personality is so warm and she shines so bright in her Senior portraits. And I doubt I even have to point out those gorgeous, sun-catching golden highlights in her hair!

Marisa’s portrait session was one of my first of the Senior portrait season in late July. Her portraits are a great testament to booking in the summer. It was warm, sunny and relaxed. No school stress. No rain worries. No chills.

Spring of Senior year is almost upon us and Marisa’s final months of high school will be filled with completing her art portfolio and kicking some booty on the tennis courts. She will also be making the big decision of whether to be a Duck or a Beaver – Go Ducks! – I may be a little biased. No matter the school, Marisa has the right perspective. She’s excitedly awaiting the next chapter of her life and says, “I just want to be happy and healthy for the rest of my life!”

Senior Favorite – Erin and the Light

There are two ways of spreading light… To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it. – Edith Wharton

Erin is a kindred spirit. She is a light chaser. She is a beauty seeker. She is a photographer.

Erin is often the mirror reflecting someone else’s light with her camera. But with me, she got to be the candle.

It is always special to create images for someone who knows the craft. I have known Erin for quite a few years now and we could chat effortlessly and probably endlessly about locations and colors and lighting. I have so enjoyed watching Erin’s work progress over the years.

Erin’s mom chose this image as her Senior Favorite because, “The light is beautiful and so are those brown eyes!” Love that. It is so sweet when moms appreciate and nurture the confidence these young women need as they walk off into their futures.

Senior Favorite Erin Rowland - Westside Christian Class of 2015

While Erin is a talented photographer, she is also an excellent student and a skilled athlete. Erin will be attending George Fox University in the fall and is planning on studying Physical Therapy. She will triple jump for the track team and is hoping to also play volleyball.  I’ve photographed one of her volleyball games and she definitely has what it takes.

Senior Favorite – Emily in the Sunflowers

My first conversation with Emily was great. She said she wanted pictures in the sunflowers. Oh, yes, I wanted to do that!

My second conversation at the photo shoot was awesome. We had planned to do a few family photos at the beginning and her whole family popped out of the car in University of Oregon attire. The duck in me was in love!

Getting to know Emily is a gift. I am not sure what Sherwood High School will do without her. She is a leader, a doer and a generous role model. Tough shoes to fill for the Class of 2016. I have watched Emily this year do fabulous fundraising through the Mr. Bowmen campaign for Doernbecher as well as volunteer through Interact/Rotary. I laughed at her very early morning “flamingo flocking” throughout the local neighborhoods, and her helpful advice to hire a professional flocking removal team by simply paying a “suggested donation” to Doernbecher. Emily makes all of the hard work look like fun.

Senior in the Sunflowers by Angie Windheim Photography

So happy Emily chose the sunflowers for her Senior Favorite so I could share it with you. Emily says, “I like how natural it feels, and I also have a funny memory of trying not to get poked in the face with the sunflowers.” Sunflowers are kind of bullies when you try to walk through them!

Emily had some great choices for college, and ultimately chose Linfield College where she will study Elementary Education with a double minor in Spanish and either environmental studies or international studies.

The Girls – Family Portraits

Talk about a dream photo shoot.

First, I love the family. Second, the girls are GORGEOUS. Third, Mom absolutely nailed the wardrobe. The colors were great and the styles fit each personality. Fourth, I stumbled upon this pretty location a few weeks ago and it was even better than my first impression.

There are a couple of handsome guys in this family too – who are totally outnumbered! I love their photos, but today is feeling like a sunny, twirly girlie day. I’m sure the guys are used to waiting for their turn 🙂

family portraits girls Newberg Oregon

Beautiful colors and beautiful girls. Lader family portraits by Angie Windheim Photography.

Honey Bees and Cherry Trees – Spring Photography

Oh, I am thankful for S-P-R-I-N-G.  After a long, colorless winter, the pops of pink and purple and yellow are exciting. I take my camera everywhere this time of year.

With the uncertainty of the honey bees in our world today, I am so thrilled when they arrive at my little farmette in Sherwood, Oregon. I have buzz-zilions of the little darlings going to work in my cherry trees. And then, my California lilacs. And then, my herbs. And then, my lawn. I always joke that if you want honey bees, leave some weeds. You’ll never find a patch of clover without a honey bee in it. My lawn has just a little bit of clover. Hey, it’s for the bees!

These photos were taken with my 70-200mm lens with the 2x extension. A mighty lens combo to wield at a little bee. But, I love the pink bokeh and the honey bees backlit fuzz.

Honey-Bees-Cherry-Tree-Blossoms-Oregon-Spring

Honey Bees and Cherry Trees by Angie Windheim Photography

Old Oak Tree


The instant I saw the “The Old Oak Tree,” I was thrilled, overjoyed and in LOVE with it.

What a perfect, poetic setting for family portraits.

A huge old oak tree, in the middle of a grassy field was the perfect EVERYTHING for the images I wanted to create for some good friends.

During the session I kept thinking, “I need to look up the song lyrics to By The Old Oak Tree.” Such a cute, romantic song. And, I bet there’s a good chance that this Old Oak Tree has been right there since 1930 when Percy Wenrich wrote the song.

Thanks, Becki and Mike for trusting me to find the location for your lovely family. I think you’ll enjoy the happy lyrics, too…

There’s no spot I cherish like the old oak tree I used to know some years ago

With my sweetheart by my side we’d spend the happy hours

They linger yet, I can’t forget.

 By the old oak tree, by the old oak tree,

By the old oak tree we sat together

There we learned to care, all our troubles share

Whether it was fair or stormy weather.

Down in the shady lane, In gingham gowns so plain

We sang love’s sweet refrain

So tenderly

Life was full of joy,

Happy girl and boy

When we met together

By the old oak tree.

(Instrumental interlude)

Down in the shady lane,

In gingham gowns so plain

You sang love’s sweet refrain

So tenderly Life was full of joy,

Happy girl and happy boy

When we sat together

By the old oak tree.

Backlit Boys


My biggest photo obsession in 2011 was backlighting. It’s a tricky fish to net for sure.  But, when I get that perfect glow shot, it feels so fantastic.

So, it’s no surprise that backlighting was my goal for my boys’ annual photo.  I started using it for clients and so wanted it for myself. These are some of my most favorite portraits of my kiddos…and my smiling Schnauzer, Otto. I’m still in awe that the dog thinks these sessions should include him and that he actually smiles!

My boys really liked this session, too.  It was quick. A low, about to set sun meant I couldn’t take very long. And, the location was convenient. I just dragged a bench to a spot with the light I was after in our yard. Easy.


Some things I’ve learned in shooting backlit photos:

  • Wait until about an hour before sunset on a bright day
  • Find tall trees, bushes, even the edge of a building to block out part (but not all) of that big fiery ball in the sky.
  • While the main light source is behind the subject, make sure that the front of the subject isn’t overly shaded. It’s even better if the ground is lighter or reflective like train tracks or a road or a sidewalk.
  • Move around with your camera until you can get a clear picture…I’m not a fan of the super hazy, backlit photos or ones with too many sunspots. Sometimes it’s just a tiny angle shift that makes all of the difference.
  • I like my camera set at about ISO 400 and aperture  f/4.  I want to avoid shallow depth of field or too slow shutter speeds. I quickly test shoot with different shutter speeds until the exposure looks right.  A light meter can minimize test shots.