After 17 Years, My Portrait Consultant Retires....

I have never done a blog before about one of my staff, but in this case I must....There is so much to say about Kris Calkin, who just retired after being with me for over 17 years.  I was hoping she'd wait another 10 years when I downsize, but alas, it was not meant to be. kris11She and her husband, Larry (both graduates of South Eugene), live up river near the McKenzie River golf course.  In the summer of 1997 when she started here as my office and wedding assistant.  This was taken in 2009. bruce berg eugene oregon wedding photographerAt that time, they were raising 2 teenage boys, Will and Thomas.   Besides photographing Kris a multitude of times, like this one below taken in 1999 with Lindsay-our photo shop artist-when Lindsay was just hired.

kris1I photographed her son Will and his High School Senior Portraits (Thurston, Class of 1999) and son Thomas senior pictures (Thurston Class of 2003), Will's wedding to Tami Woods in 2009 at the Springfield Country Club golf resort (showing their dapper shoes...)

wedding portfolio (8)and later, their son, Reece

newborn baby and his dadThis portrait of Reece was taken this winter.

downs baby photographOh, and Kris and Larry's Basset Hounds.  Lucy and Maggie.  Maggie is below (R.I.P.)

MaggieWhen we interviewed Kris, the other staff and I were struck by her wry sense of humor and her youthful attitude that went well with her skills at organizing. Plus, she has her license as a cosmetologist, which was very helpful since we like to offer make up enhancement as an option to offer my clients-both senior portraits and glamour sessions.

Usually we just enhance the face (below, top image), but can go extreme if needed (the Steampunk look at the bottom).  These are of Jessie Cuddeback, then a Junction City high school senior:

high school senior girl pictureglamour photograph of a girlIn 2009, Kris became our portrait consultant and along with Lindsay (on the left) they both did sales.

kris9Kris wore many hats: from cleaner, cosmetologist, office manager, wedding assistant (until my kids took over 4 years ago), handling framing, filing, errands, organization, billing and phone calls.  She was really my right hand man...err woman.    This was taken during our annual beach trip in 2006, with Jessica and Kelsey.

staff 2006Back in the days, I used to take my staff snow skiing.  As a former ski instructor, I enjoyed teaching them how to ski, but on Kris's first outing she broke her wrist.   That was our last ski trip.

Then we used to go rafting.  The image immediately below is with Kris, Jessica, Michelle Wright and my son Harrison (he is now 21).  Below is with my daughter Sophia (now 17) Jessica, Michelle Hedlind and Kris. I was in another raft. kris10 kris4It was great fun.  This tradition continued for over 12 years until, when on the North Umpqua, Kris and three others were tossed out of the raft into the cold water and sent Kris and another into shock because we couldn't reach them right away due to the rapids, . Well, let's just say, that was the end of raft trips. :-(

In 2012, I took both Kris and Lindsay with me when I spoke to a large group of professional photographers in Florida near Orlando.  We had a blast at Disney World.

walt disney world space mountainFor the most part, so everyone was safe (!), we stuck to playing table games, bowling and Christmas dinners.  Lindsay, Santa, Ronnel and Kris. kris8So far so good.  No paper cuts or Heimlich maneuvers yet.  Thanks to Kris's inspiration, we also will continue dressing up for Halloween.  Here are three of my favorites of her:kris3 kris5 kris6She has made me laugh a lot over these 17 years, from pulling believable April Fool's jokes (it really did look like dog poop!), to using her wit to lighten any situation. Being with me for so long,  she has provided an incredible wealth of knowledge (and saved correspondence and data)  that has been a constant source of help over the years.  Plus, her humor keep going on all throughout.  It benefited not only me and others that work here, but people like you...my clients....as well.

Kris was instrumental in hiring Megan On, our new Portrait Consultant who has now been here over two months, getting great training from...you know who.  :-)  Here is an image of Megan with her family, taken at our special event Christmas Tree farm portraits.  Before Megan was hired, I had photographed her senior portraits (Willamette HS Class of 2003) along with this fun session in 2013.   (BTW-we ARE doing another special event Oct. 1 at an Apple Orchard. Just call us for info.) family portraits in OregonWe will all definitely miss Kris, but she has promised she will check in on us a couple of times a month for next six months, so we don't get too lost without her.

Thanks Kris.  You're a gem and an incredible friend to boot.  You'll be Greatly Missed............................

kris12