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Winter Forest Engagement Photography Session at Hoyt Arboretum | Portland, Oregon


Ashley & Silas

An Engagement Photo Forest Trail Adventure


I was so excited to be the Portland engagement photographer that Ashley & Silas choose for their winter forest engagement photography session at Hoyt Arboretum at Portland, OR. We met when they attended the Portland Bridal Show.

Ashley and Silas have been together a little over 6 years. They met in high school, when they were both on the cross country team. While they met Sila's freshman year, it wasn't until his junior year the these two became a couple. Silas takes the credit for moving things from friendship to romance by asking her on the official first date. It took a minute before Ashley realized that's what he meant when he asked her to the movies. A classic first date, ice cream and a movie.

They went to see the The Martian or they tried to anyway. Arriving a little early, they stood in the lobby with the crowd waiting to get it. Once the theater opened, they followed the crowd, not thinking much of it, The Martian is pretty popular so most people are likely going there. But how they were wrong. They ended up in Bridge of Spies a historical drama film, while they sat there they kept wondering when The Martian would start, after 10 minutes they realized they were in the wrong movie and just went with it.

The proposal would also catch Ashley by surprise. Sila's sister-in-law had picked up this game called Speak Out!, where you put a dental mouthguard in and people have to guess what you are trying to say. When it was Silas’s turn, he put in the mouthgaurd and said “will you marry me”. Luckily, through al the laughter it still didn't take her too long to figure it out. But she said she didn’t really realize what was happening until he pulled the ring out. Of course, she said yes!

When it was time to select a location to take their engagement photos they landed on Hoyt Arboretum. Hoyt Arboretum has 12 miles of trails to explore, but today we started our photo adventure by walking around the visitors center and meeting up with the Oak Trail. I love how as you walk along so many of the trees are labeled with the name and type.


Ashley did some scouting at Hoyt Arboretum the day before. She was so smart to take photos as she went along of spots and things she liked, as well as bring along a printed map from the visitors center to mark the trails she took. We used both as we explored through the forest together.

I asked Ashley and Silas if they would mind answering a few questions to share more about their love story, this is what they had to say.


What is your favorite memory together?

Ashley: One of my favorite memories is back from when we were still living with our parents (we both went to college in our hometown). I knew his parents were out of town during spring break so I got up early that first morning of vacation, bought breakfast supplies, & surprised him with making breakfast (which he then proceeded to take over making!). It was so much fun making food together and then watching shows & playing games afterwards.


Silas: I'm having a hard time thinking of a singular favorite memory, but I love our time together playing games & trying to make new dishes together.

What's one thing that drew you to your significant other?

Ashley: We were actually good friends for ~2 years before we got together! We met at Cross Country practice in high school & would run together since we ran around same speed. When we were running 2-5 miles a day, it gave us a lot of time to discover shared interests (mostly games & anime) as well as have the occasional deep/nuanced discussion about current events, values, & what we wanted in life.


Silas: How relatable Ashley was and how much we were able to enjoy shared interests & appreciating each other's interests.

Ashley got her ring from Fred Meyer Jewelers. The main stone is a black diamond, with small black and white diamonds in the detailing and surrounded by rose gold.

What are you most excited about for your wedding day?

Ashley: Being together with all of our family and friends, eating good food, & dancing!


Silas: To have fun with everybody.


What's one thing you're looking forward to in your life-after-marriage?

Ashley: Having more free time for some international travel!


Silas: Buying a house and starting our married life together.

It was a darker evening then we had expected but that gave us the opportunity to have a little fun taking some low light images. I used a combination of existing ambient light, mixed with off camera flash to create our last image and I absolutely love it.

It always means so much when engaged couples take the time to leave a review after our engagement session. Reviews are a great resource for other couples shopping for an engagement or wedding photographer. This is what Ashley and Silas had to say:

"I love my pictures from my engagement shoot with Cambrae! When I met her at the Portland Wedding Expo, I loved her vibrant/true-to-life photography style and she recommended the wedding venue I ended up selecting (Ainsworth House and Gardens)."


I couldn't believe it! After Sila's Mom, Linda, joined us for the review of their images, she left a review too!

"Met Cambrae on zoom for review of engagement gallery for my son and daughter-in-love! The photos were beautiful, but even more Cambrae is beautiful to her sweet spirit! She is so kind, calming, compassionate and creative! Could not ask for more in a photographer. Can't wait for the wedding!"


From the engagement photography session, Linda bought a canvas displaying a college of images and they bought a modern metal print with one large hero image. Both will make great decorations at the wedding. I can't wait!!!



Engagement Photography Location - Hoyt Arboretum

Engagement Ring - Fred Meyer Jewelers


Looking for a fun Portland engagement photographer?

Contact me now to ask questions or schedule your engagement photography session.



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