Shutterfest18 + Special Treatment

email banner.png

I just got back from Shutterfest! The craziest conference for Photographers. It is non-stop, up all night, shoot all day, a million classes, amazingness.

This was my third year as a Speaker at Shutterfest, which means that I not only am responsible for creating and delivering three standout courses, but I also am expected to be out and about throughout the rest of my time, going up to people sitting alone, helping people doing photo shoots on their own, and be available for questions and chats throughout. It’s a lot of work, but it makes me feel alive to know I have the opportunity to change someone’s life. I take it very seriously and I try very hard.

The reason I’m writing is because for the first time, in my third year here, I’m starting to notice people see me from afar and stop and whisper and pretend not to be looking, I have people bringing me glasses of water when they haven’t even gotten one for themselves, I have people asking if they can help me with anything, people telling me they came to SF just for me, people responding to my “I know you don’t know who I am (so I can give them some qualifiers so they know they can trust me)” with “I DO know who you are!”

It’s a strange feeling, but a humbling one. I don’t think I deserve special treatment from people just because I am here in this position. I understand though, that they feel like I’ve given them something, and that is my hope when I come here...

But here is my wish for all of you and for everyone...

I hope that we all treat everyone with special treatment.

Everyone deserves it, whether we think so or not.

And as I said in one of my classes with 50 people all trying to photograph the same model,

“If you look out for everyone else and make sure they get their shot, then you will have 49 other people looking out for you making sure you get yours.”

And as always, thank you to Sal and Alissa, the super humans behind Shutterfest, for believing in me for a third year in a row to educate and inspire and lead. 

Thank you so my amazing sponsors Fundy Designer, Millers Professional Imaging, and Fotofafa. There is so much more to come. Hold on tight. LESSGO.


Fundy Software Company Headshots



Company headshots are a valuable asset to any company, whether you are a Portland Small Business or a Retail company based in Los Angeles. Not only do professional business headshots make your team look good, but they are exciting for your team. It shows them that each one of them is a valuable asset to the work you do. Welcoming the team behind Fundy Software into my Portrait Studio in Beaverton was SO FUN... mostly because they are all a blast to hang with. With them, work is like play. 

Fundy Software Inc is a local company here in Portland that has created the most useful software for photographers that I have ever used. If you have been a client of mine, you have seen me use it in our Design Consultation together. Not only is the product amazing, but the people that make up Fundy Software are truly family to me and my little family. 

It was so AWESOME being the one they trusted to do their new company headshots. Thank you, Fundy Software! 

Help Emmi, Chief Compliance Officer at WEconnect, choose her headshot:

Michelle Lagos Consulting Headshots



Michelle Lagos came over to our photography studio in Beaverton, Oregon for her headshots and of course we danced and laughed our way through. You don't get together with this woman and NOT have an amazing time. Lagos Consulting is Portland's premiere Website Designer, Developer, and Digital Strategist. She is DYNAMIC... to say the least. We knew that Michelle is used to being behind the scenes, so pampering her with Hair and Makeup before the photoshoot, and guiding her through the Design Consultation to choose her favorite photographs after the photoshoot was extra fun for us. When someone continually gives and gives beauty to the world, you can't help but want to pour ten times that amount of love back onto them. You, Michelle, and the epitome of a giver and I am so happy we had the opportunity to create with you. 

As always, thank you to our Hair and Makeup Artist, Aubrey Kay Evans, the owner and powerhouse behind Beauty By Bre. 

And of course we had to show off her amazing personality, because if you don't know Michelle in person, you MUST make a date to meet her. You'll probably meet her at her favorite dining spot in PDX, the delicious Harlow, and you have my personal guarantee that you will have FUN and walk away totally inspired and motivated to do the things you've been wanting to. Michelle is in one word: AMAZING.

Visit our studio in Beaverton, Oregon, minutes away from Nike! 

See Stacey S.'s Portrait Photoshoot in our Studio here:



That's right! 2018 marks NINE years that The Yodsukars has been an operating business. It's pretty insane to think that it all started with a Groupon-type deal on The in 2009 for a $99 Engagement Session. We photographed somewhere around 80+ sessions the following year because of that deal... we had no life and missed out on everything, BUT it laid the groundwork for what The Yodsukars is today. And what are we today? I'll leave that for the end of this post. First, I think its only fitting as we Celebrate starting our company 9 years ago, that we hear from the Founder, my best friend and husband, Forrest's father, and the reason our business exists, Rich Yodsukar.

     Being a business owner has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences of my life. Knowing that the direction of our careers is completely up to us - if we want to work more, or work less - has been so empowering. It's also been completely terrifying at times not knowing exactly when our next check is coming. As cliche as this sounds though, what's kept us going is believing that the universe will provide us with exactly what we need, and that is what's gotten us to this point in our lives and careers.  - Rich Yodsukar

Today, The Yodsukars is a Mission backed up by a lifestyle. On paper we are a Photo + Cinema studio based in Portland, Oregon and operating in Los Angeles as well. In our hearts and minds, we are just a little family set on changing the world one life at a time. What began as a studio focused on weddings, has morphed into a multi-layered company with departments catering to Businesses, Families, and Educating Other Photographers and Business Owners how to use their business to Find Their Happy. We have grown A LOT over the past 9 years, learning countless lessons about managing money, taking care of our clients, improving our technical skills, and marketing (to name a few, of course), but the one thing we have learned that I am MOST PROUD of and most EXCITED about is this...

We have learned to define SUCCESS on our terms. We have learned to create our own definition of HAPPINESS. And whats even cooler, we have learned the importance of allowing ourselves to redefine and recreate that as often as needed. That's one reason we moved from everyone we knew and the hometown of our business to a brand new place where we knew no one. I'm happy to say that 20 months later, we have established our business, found our friends and family, and created our home here in Portland. Instead of replacing one home with another, we have a new passion of adding homes, friends, and family... and businesses. 

The next opportunity is right around the corner. Keep us in your thoughts as we are looking to add another exciting adventure to our lives (not a baby you guys!!!!), so we can continue to change the world one person at a time.



A little backstory on my WHY for being a business owner:


Help Emmi Choose Her Headshot




Emmi has not only created a life she loves (and a personality that I love), but she has created a whole new way of doing her job. "Emmi's research focuses on individual privacy preferences, exploitation, elements of communication in medical research, integration and regulation of medical technology and medical decision making in the context of societal ethics." Yep. She's AMAZING. And she's definitely the person to find if you're ready for an in depth, yet wildly entertaining conversation about... well, anything. She's the best! 

So let's help a sister out and help her choose which headshot she should incorporate into her Professional life as Chief Compliance, Ethics and Privacy Officer extraordinaire!!









Comment the number (ONE, TWO, THREE, or FOUR) of your favorite to help Emmi choose.

See Michelle Lagos', of Lagos Consulting, breathtaking headshots... and one totally badass Portrait where she brings out her MOB Boss self ;) MOB: Mom Owned Business! See it here:

Sharing my WHY on being a Business Owner

Recently I had a conversation with Rich about life and purpose and WHY I am passionate about building and growing my business(es). We had never talked about this before in our MILLION AND ONE deep talks we have every day... but I told him my secret WHY.
He asked me why I keep it a secret, and I told him it's purely because of embarrassment, but he said "this is the type of thing you need to share with the world, with people you know and people you don't. It will give them more of a connection to you."

So here goes...

Growing up and all of my life I have been judged (haven't we all?) as being stupid and flaky and countless variations of those. These are all words that have been said to my face by peers and people I lookup to:
STUPID: In 12th grade AP CALCULUS class, a class I wholly struggled to get through and ultimately dropped out of with tears streaming down my face to a teacher that said he would never fail me as long as I kept trying as hard as I was, sitting behind another female student I pushed past my fear of embarrassment and raised my hand to answer a question. The life-changing inspiring teacher I was lucky enough to have called on ME to answer the question since I never raised my hand and I could feel his excitement for me to get this correct. Well, I got it incorrect and the girl sitting in front of me turned around and said, "How did you even get in this class? No offense, but you're too stupid for it."
FLAKY: In My fourth year of College at Emerson College getting my BFA in Acting, I went in to meet with my advisor before each new semester to pick and finalize my next semester class picks that would fulfill my requirement and help me graduate. Before my last semester, I met with her only to realize that somehow, I did not have enough credits to graduate. Devastated and confused (I think she and I both were) we made a plan to get me graduating on time in May and taking two classes over the summer after graduation to finish my credits. Even though everything worked out, I felt confused at how this happened when we talked over the amount of credits I needed and how many I was fulfilling each time we met, and perhaps I put too much trust in those meetings. We had a follow up meeting with my dad there to make sure everything was all good for graduation and when he asked how could this have happened my Advisor simply said, "She's flaky." 

These events and other very similar-feeling events embarrassed me and infuriated me. I knew that I was not stupid OR flaky, and that to prove this to anyone and most importantly to MYSELF I had to work harder than I ever had before, research more, work longer, be smarter, take more chances, never settle, and always push myself further. 

Some people get called stupid. Others get called fake. Others are seen as lucky or given more opportunities. In the end, I push myself so hard to be smarter, work harder, take more chances, and push myself further than I did the day before and for now that's the best I can do

Thank you so much for this photo, Priscilla Howell. You are a huge piece of my heart and I love you.

Thank you so much for this photo, Priscilla Howell. You are a huge piece of my heart and I love you.

See the amazing work we are doing with the women of the Portland local organization supporting women surviving Breast Cancer, Breast Friends of Oregon: