jessica helgerson

Tiny House is the Third Most Popular Home Tour on

Tiny House

This just floated into my inbox today: Out of 1000 House Tours on popular home decor site, Jessica Helgerson’s Tiny House I photographed is the third most popular. I’m certainly not surprised. It was one of those magical shoots where the right pieces came together. Great design, great light, and a little help from the Lincoln Barbour touch and you get beautiful photography that gets noticed.

Sources: The Top 10 Home Tours on Houzz, Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, Tiny House Gallery

A Tiny House in Martha Stewart Living

I had a hard time coming up with the right anecdote about this shoot featured in Martha Stewart Living. There are so many ways to describe it. It was the smallest house I’ve ever shot featured in the biggest magazine I’ve ever been in. It’s funny how the simplest shots take the longest time. Jessica Helgerson is an amazing interior designer! The house was so small, that for one shot I had to shoot from a window outside. I used strobes, daylight, hot lights, and incandescent lights. I retouched the shots to make them look more natural. I shot this almost a year ago and had to wait till now to show them off. It just goes on and on.

I say this a lot, but I’m very proud of this project, how the photos turned out, and that it was published in a great magazine that really highlights photography. But, I certainly can’t take all the credit.  Without Jessica Helgerson’s design talent and eye for styling, these shots would just be okay. Collaborating with her brings the work to a whole new level and I am thrilled we’re both receiving recognition on a national level. She definitely deserves it and I feel very grateful that I get to photograph her projects. Here are the rest of the pages and the shots on their own. Enjoy.



Here Comes the Sun – Portland Monthly Feb 2011

First tearsheet of 2011 and it’s goody! I actually shot this house in December of 2010 on a really crappy weather day. It was looked like night when we showed up and was raining really hard. Fortunately, by the time we were set up and ready to shoot, the rain lifted and clouds got brighter. Using long exposures and fill flash from my monolights, I was able to create the bright and sunny look on what was a pretty typical Portland winter day.

I’ll share a little secret with you: I actually prefer shooting interiors on cloudy days. Sunny days are a pain in the butt because the windows get too hot and I usually have to photoshop them in later. All these shots were single exposures.

For you interior design lovers, it was another fabulous project by the talented Jessica Helgerson Interior Design. They’ve just launched a new website and it features a lot of my work I shot for them over the past few years. Check it out!

Here’s the rest of the feature that ran in the February 2011 issue of Portland Monthly. [Read more…] about Here Comes the Sun – Portland Monthly Feb 2011

From Bacon to Beavers – 2009 in Review

This last year I spent a lot of energy narrowing down my specialties: architecture, lifestyle, and still life. I like to think of myself as a specific generalist. Between these three specialties, I can handle almost any kind of shoot. But getting a consistent and distinct look between all three specialties is the real trick. Looking back on all these photos, it’s cool to see that thread of creativity I call my own.

Another noteworthy tidbit about last year, I only had 12 clients the whole year. So, my core clients kept me in business through that rough patch known as The Recession of 2009. I’d like to extend a HUGE thank you to them and look forward to many more shoots in 2010!

Without further ado, here’s one shot from every shoot last year with some commentary.

Portland Monthly March 2009 Best Breakfast Cover Feature

B is for Bacon

A lot of people asked me how I lit this. Well, the truth is I didn’t. I shot this hand held at arms length, auto-focus on, under stained fluorescent lights during the lunch rush at Fuller’s Diner. It just goes to show that the best light is often the one you know how to look for.


This was lit, however. We actually did this shot on location at the Original Pancake House. It’s amazing how many people eat pancakes for lunch. The place was jammed with the business crowd when we showed up around 1pm on a Tuesday. We had a little 6ft corner to work from and the left side light was actually coming in from outside shooting through a window.

Portland Spaces April / May 2009 SpaceMakers

Bedroom Nook

This was the second time I photographed Stephanie Sheldon-Nevarez. She owns this great vintage store called Noun which I shot for the April 2008 Portland Monthly. Here, I photographed her home for Portland Spaces. Stephanie and her husband, Thomas Nevarez, have some amazing vintage pieces in their home. They also had a pretty cute cat.

Travel Portland – Tryon Creek State Park

Tryon Park Hikers

Shot this hiking shot for an edition of Travel Portland’s quarterly magazine which is produced by the same folks who publish Portland Monthly. Small world. The couple in this shot are my friends Grace and Michael. They totally rock.

Glamorous Four Square by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design


Jessica Helgerson is an incredibly gifted interior designer. Every project I shoot for her is a true joy and I always get some portfolio worthy shots. This four square remodel is just incredible. To see all the shots, click here.

DLR Group – Happy Valley City Hall

Happy Valley, OR is really becoming a boom town. DLR Group was tasked with building a new city hall that would grow with the town.

Portland Spaces – Isaac Drake and Seth Truby

Isaac Drake and Set Truby

I don’t typically shoot outdoors in full sun. But the story for this shot was about the fence and these two neighbors. In order to get create a natural and sunny look, I bounced a strobe into a huge reflector to create a soft fill. It’s shoots like these that I wish I shot more behind the scenes stuff. Maybe that’s one of my 2010 resolutions.

Portland Spaces – Summer 2009 Furniture Designer Feature


Ken Tomita (above) made this bookshelf (below). Cool shoot to do a portrait and the product in the same day.


Portland Spaces Summer 2009 Cover Feature – Interiors & Designers


This was one of my favorite shoots of the year. Portland Spaces profiled three different interior designers. Here I shot the home of Nike designers Michael Shea and Kelly Tweeden.


This private residence was designed by Joelle Nelson and Allie McGory of Maison, Inc.

Andee Hess

Andee Hess of Osmose designed this space for the 937 Condominiums in the Pearl District as well as one private residences there.

There are lots of shots from this 3 day shoot. To see them as they appeared in the magazine, click here.

Lane Powell – Portland Armory

Portland Armory

I waited for well over an hour to get all the little bits of people walking by. All toll, this is a composite of 5 different shots.

Northwest Golf – Gear


This shot was inspired by Jill Greenberg’s lighting style, except I added my own punchy crisp flavor to it.

Portland Monthly May 2009 – Prêt-à-Portland


We shot this colorful clothing feature on black to make the it really pop. Has that neon quality almost.

Surround Architecture – Rebound Joint Center at the Rose Garden


I have a funny feeling the Blazers are here these days a lot more than they want to be.

Surround Architecture – Keen Corporate Headquarters


Keen shoes are my absolute favorite for work. I can wear them all day and my feet never get tired. So, I was stoked to go to their headquarters to shoot their new design room. Someday, my new shoes may have been concepts on these desks.

Jason Blackheart – Portrait


Helluva an art director and very good friend. He now is the main man in charge at Portland Monthly. We’ve done a lot great work over the years and I owe a lot of portfolio shots to his skills and guidance during shoots.

Mahlum Architects – Sue Buel Elementary


This is an amazing school designed by Mahlum. These common areas serve as impromptu classrooms that can quickly be reconfigured to suit whatever the teachers need for the day.

Inside Design International – Private Residence


This soothing master bathroom was designed by Kim Hagstette. I really love the color palette used in the space.

Imbibe Magazine – Summer Beer Feature


I had fun with this one. I wanted to to what happened when you shot beer bottles with a ring flash. The distinctive wrap around look of the light is just so cool. It really made everything so edgy. Plus you get that cool shadow line. Click here to see the rest of the shots.

Portland Monthly July 2009 – Rivers Cover Feature


This is Sam Drevo of eNRG Kayak. The nicest guy you ever met and an amazing athlete. We shot him on the banks of the Sandy river at Oxbow park for Portland Monthly’s feature on Oregon rivers. This shot ran on the cover.

Northwest Meetings & Events – Crisis Managers Story


Portrait of Cathy Mason, an event coordinator with expert knowledge in managing an event during a crisis. She knows how to handle anything that comes her way.

NBAA – Fagan Profile


Oddly, this shoot was the first time I left Oregon for a shoot all year. A very cool gig, I flew out to Minnesota to document a member company of the National Business Aviation Association. We shot portraits, employees at work, pilots on planes, even an ethanol plant. Too much to feature here, but I really liked this shot.

Bergren Rameson’s Paper Project


A good stylist can really make your job easier. An amazing stylist gets you phenomenal images. Check out all these shots.

Portland Monthly August 2009 – Eat + Drink Opener


The Original is a “dineraunt”. They have hot dog flights and pie. So tasty!

Parliament Design – Interiors


These guys are so cool and their space is absolutely amazing. They’re also one totally kickass design firm. I had a blast photographing their workspace. More coolness here.

Portland Monthly August 2009 – Cornershop


Designer Modi Soondarotok owns IDOM, a fashion boutique specializing in “sustainable designer apparel, accessories and objects for today’s fashion forward woman.” Cool clothes and green sensibility = Win Win!

Atwater Place – Exteriors


I would not been able to get this shot digitally a year ago. Canon came out with a 17mm tilt shift lens this year and it’s the only lens wide enough with enough movement to shoot a building this big so close. It’s one of the sharpest lenses they make, too

Atwater Place – Lifestyle


This is an excellent example of how being multidisciplinary can get you gigs. Not only did I shoot all the architectural shots for the Atwater, I shot all the lifestyle shots, too.

Gourmet Magazine October 2009 –  Pok Pok’s Khao Soi Kai

This little shot had a lot of mileage. Shortly after the issue came out, Gourmet announced it was ceasing publication. Saddened by the news, I made a blog post about it and tweeted about it. Within a few hours, I was contacted by the local NPR station, OPB, for an interview about being in the last issue of Gourmet. Pretty cool! Though, it actually wasn’t the last issue. November was. Mea Culpa.

Mahlum Architects – Pacific University’s Gibson Hall


I try to make these motion shots look easy and spontaneous. The reality is that it takes dozens of tries to get the right amount blur. Timing, shutter speed, angle of subject, and their velocity all have to work together at the right time to get something decent. What’s decent? You know it when you see it.

Mahlum Architects – Thurston Elementary School – Springfield, OR


I sort of remember elementary school. I remember dark hallways, funky smells, and dirt playgrounds. Things have definitely changed for the better thanks to architecture firms like Mahlum. They won some awards from this shoot.

DLR Group – Ashland Elementary School System Renovations and Additions


Again, I’m so impressed by how much better school designs are. DLR Group had three awesome projects for me to shoot down in Ashland, OR. The three day shoot took a lot planning and coordinating. We were chasing the sun from to school to school to get the best light. I don’t think we were ever at one location for the whole day.



Portland Monthly November 2009 – Cornershop


Pamela Baker-Miller is the co-founder of Frances May, a very cool and hip fashion boutique in downtown Portland. This shot was all available light. Kind of tricky to to do, but a good tripod and patient subject gets you results that you just can’t light artificially.

DLR Group – Happy Valley City Hall Round 2


The mountain lodge feeling of the structure fits nicely in the valley setting with Mt. Hood in the background.

Jessica Helgerson Interior Design – Overton House


I love to cook and kitchens are always my favorite rooms to photograph. Another incredibly stunning remodel by Jessica Helgerson and I’m not the only one saying it. This shoot was just recently featured on über-popular design blog Design*Sponge.

DLR Group – Mountain View High School Addition


I love this shot. We had was massive cloud cover all day long. I knew I wasn’t going to get much of an exterior shot during the day, so I decided to wait for a dusk shot. I’m so glad I did. The sky broke right at sunset and some of the most beautiful cloud patterns and colors rolled in like magic. It was right place, right time perfection.

Portland Monthly January 2010 – Branch Science Feature


The bulk of my shoots this year have been architectural, so it was nice change of pace to do this environmental portrait of scientist Steve Strauss. Steve’s research into genetically modified trees that make better paper pulp could reduce deforestation. However, GMOs are a touchy subject. The trees in this grove have been attacked multiple times by eco-terrorists. Pick up a copy of Portland Monthly to read more. I also shot some genetically modified products for the story…


Did you know the US makes 26 million notes of currency a day? The genetically modified ingredient: cotton. Each greenback is 75% cotton and 79% of US -grown cotton is
genetically modified. The GM cotton costs less to grow and uses less pesticides.

NBAA – Atlanta Aviation


Another shoot for NBAA and getting some really good stuff from these gigs. This trip we shot at Coca-Cola’s and Home Depot’s private hangers. We also went to the DeKalb Peachtree Airport for some general shots. I took over 1600 shots over the three day trip.

Oregon Food Bank – “Setting the Table” Pro Bono Project


I’m really excited to announce this project. What initially began as a friendly get together of colleagues, has morphed into a photographic collective know as PhotoForce. With four other photographers (Brian Lee, Daniel Root, Steven Scardina, and Stuart Mullenberg), we set a mission to be a creative force for hire and a creative force for good.

This year, the five of us shot a collection of images for the Oregon Food Bank. The theme of the shoot is “Farm to Table” and each of us tackled various elements of the OFB operations in our own unique styles. For my part, I shot volunteers processing bulk foods into smaller portions at the OFB headquarters.

On January 21, 2010, we’re having a large format exhibition of 5 images from each of us. Twenty-five images in all and printed by Pro Photo Supply. The show will be hosted at Venue Pearl and I would be honored to see you there. Click here for more information.

DLR Group – Oregon State University’s Women’s Basketball Locker Room


Last shot from the last shoot of the year. The Oregon State University’s Ladies Basketball locker room is fricking awesome. Despite being in the basement, the space felt open and bright. I can imagine it’s a great place to be before a game or even kicking back after practice. In case you’re not familiar with Oregon State, their mascot is the Beaver. Go Beavs!

So there it is: one solid year of work. Looking forward to keeping up the momentum in 2010.

Contact me if you want to get something going.

Glamorous Four-Square

Here’s a recent project I shot for Jessica Helgerson’s portfolio. This beautiful remodel of a turn-of-the-century Southeast Portland four-square blurs the lines between modern hip and classic bungalow. The whole house was filled with eye candy furnishings, which is always fun to photograph. I loved the bubble chandelier, the Egyptian tin shades, and the blown glass sculptures by Portland-based glass artist Andy Paiko. A great project to photograph and I’m really happy with how the shots turned out.

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Cover Feature in Spaces Magazine

The Windsor Court project I photographed for Jessica Helgerson has definitely got some legs. Besides for making the rounds on various blogs (including Design*Sponge), it’s been published several times in magazines all over the world.

So far, it’s been featured in Portland Monthly (US), Home Beautiful (Australia), and now the photographs are running as a cover story for UK magazine Spaces. If you’re in the US, I think you can pick up a copy of this February 09 issue at Barnes & Noble.

I’m really happy to see Jessica’s work be featured in so many places. And it’s certainly nice to get my photos published all over the world, too 😉

Spaces has also run my bio on their website and I’ve been interviewed for a Q&A that will be coming out in their April issue. Will post that when it comes out.