Make Happiness Happen #001



I decided it was time to make these into a formal thing... by numbering them. The first Official installment of Make Happiness Happen. 


Part of serving others is serving myself also. It is doing things that I delight in that make me happy for no reason other than they just make me happy. Like getting Dutch Bros and singing and dancing in the car.

If you are someone that is constantly pouring yourself into others, doing everything you can to make sure they are taken care of and well (I’m talking to you Mommas!!), you can’t forget how important, no NECESSARY, it is to take time for yourself. You’re feeling exhausted and drained because you do so much, but you’re not getting anything to fill your energy back up. It’s your job to take care of yourself, and it doesn’t have to be another chore. 

One of my favorite things to do to pour back into myself- dance and sing in the car. Some days, sure, I just don’t feel like it, but some days, it’s EVERYTHING I needed. And if you’re a parent like me, we are in the car quite a lot, which means we have ample opportunity to turn a car ride into a self-care session. Some days it’s 90s hip hop, others it’s new agey hippy stuff, and others it’s the latest pop songs. Whatever makes you FEEL happy when you turn it on, that’s the one to go with that day. And yes, sometimes I sing to the people next to me at the stop light, and other days I act like huh? Dancing? Me? No way. There are no rules to what life is supposed to look like... except one...

Life should be filled with the people and activities that make you happy, everything else can go. 


Here is a photo of something that makes me EXTREMELY happy- in addition to singing and dancing in the car, of course. This is my crew (part of it, because its about 200+ deep) from the place I go Monday - Saturday to make myself 1% better each day. I've been going for exactly 8 weeks now, so I'm 56% better already!! I'm being cheeky, but I'm also being completely serious at the same time. Burn Boot Camp Beaverton has changed my life, and it makes me insanely happy.

Life should be filled with the people and activities that make you happy, everything else can go. 
— Christine Yodsukar



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:


"You Should Be A Life Coach"


The best compliment I received recently was that I should be a life coach. I laughed when I first read it... but then I though, “I guess I kind of am a life coach.”

A life coach is supposed to help you make your life better. That’s exactly what I do. I work with people to find out what is important to them - like really truly forever and always important to them - and then I give them ways to celebrate that every single day. I give them ways to call upon that happiness when life is sucking. I give them ways to put focus on the things that make them happy instead of ‘the laundry is piled up, we ate frozen pizza for dinner... again, and I’m’ I give people the opportunity to revel in the beauty that is their life.

I guess I am a life coach 🤷‍♀️😆

Photos of a recent life coaching clients “Way to Celebrate” 😉

I’m so lucky to do what I do. I’m so lucky to do it with the people I do it with.

Portland Family Photographer
Portland Family Photographer

A Lesson in Love... That I'm Learning

Self love is the most important kind.

This is a lesson that I had learned... but am trying to relearn all over again. 
I am sure some of you understand what I am talking about. As a young adult there comes a time when you really feel like your life is just coming together in such amazing ways; you are making a good living, being healthy and fit, nurturing all the meaningful relationships in your life, improving yourself everyday... You love the person you have become.
...and then something happens that rocks your world. 
For me, that something has been becoming a mom. I put all of my focus on being there for my son, Forrest, that wanting to go to the gym for an hour seems so selfish and like SO much work. I feel guilty when I'm working, because it means I am away from my family. I eat more processed foods. I hang out with friends less... and never at night HA! I don't meditate as much as I used to, and I spend a lot of time talking about Daniel Tiger and Paw Patrol. 
Life is different. I'm re-figuring it all out. 
So while my something has been becoming a mom, your something could be anything.
Like Shannon. Shannon is a woman that I had the pleasure of photographing recently. We had an amazing time- it was so effortless and so rewarding. 
Yesterday she posted her portrait on her facebook along with a message that really hit me in the gut. 

"I am learning to look at my crow's feet and to appreciate all of the work that it took to get there."

DAMN. She changed my whole perspective in that one line.
YES, my life is totally different. 
NO, I am definitely not the person I want to be right now. 
BUT, I am working on it, and I have been working on it... AND its taken me a lot of hard work to get to be the person I am right now, despite not being in the gym 6 days a week and despite getting a bagged salad for dinner last night and only working for half of the day instead of the whole day.
We are not perfect because of how we compare ourselves to other people. We are perfect because we love ourselves for who we truly are. 

So after this long email that may seem to be about me... I'm writing to tell you that whatever it is that has rocked your world and whatever it is that is making you feel less than, it doesn't make you any less perfect than you were when you loved yourself before. Chances are, you've taken on a whole lot more life in the time between then and now, and you're probably kicking ass in ways that you didn't even realize. 

So today, throw some glitter in your haair (something I did...) and get your nails painted like the galaxy (something I also did...) and ENJOY the life that you have. Be comfortable, be happy, and be you, damnnit. 


Speaking on Self Love, you can read about my WHY here:

I'm Published! In Barnes and Noble!


It's true! It happened!

It's only been on my Goal List since 2013 (in various forms), so to say I am EXCITED does not even do the extreme level happiness that I feel justice. 

I am honored to have been asked to write a featured article for Shutter Magazine The Lighting Edition. It came out August 2017 in Barnes and Noble. 

My article is Light Through a Wedding Day where I take you through all of my special How To's for getting the same gorgeous lighting as I do on a wedding day. It's a freaking amazing article- I can say this because I have been teaching about Wedding Day Lighting since 2014 and the amount of photographers that message me, text me, email me with photos from their first weddings after taking my course.... it's unbelievable! These photographers go from being so totally overwhelmed (just like I was!) when it comes to lighting a wedding day, to being totally in control and producing stunning cinematic photographs. Receiving those messages and photos from them MAKES MY YEAR. 

You can find Shutter Magazine in Barnes and Noble (did I say that already? :D) and you can also see the full article on here:

Thank you so so much Sal Cincotta and Alissa Zimmerman for trusting me to teach and guide your amazing followers. Much love to you both!!

PS. If you want to see a really embarrassing video of my ugly crying while going into B&N and seeing my article for the first time, you can see that here thanks to my amazing friend Andrew Funderburg (creator of Fundy Software which I could not serve my clients without):

Thank you for the support and the love everyone!!

And if you're interested in learning more about Wedding Albums, you can find that 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: