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Pre-baby session on the Oregon Coast

Having postponed this session from the end of May due to the spring-in-Portland downpours, Tayja, Gabe, and I were ecstatic about the fantastic weather on the coast this past weekend.

"Gabe and I got married in 2019 and had the first queer/trans Jewish witchy wedding on the Oregon coast (that we know of). We tried for our queer love child for a long time, so this was really special to us. And in light of what’s going on in our country (now and over the last couple years!), it was really hard to keep our dream of having a family alive, wondering what kind of a world we’d be bringing our child into. But in the end, our love for each other and for children of all ages (we both work with kids, Gabe is a high school teacher and I work in early childhood) propelled us to move forward and keep fighting and hoping for a better world for our children."

This session was the day after SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade, and I think we were all still in shock. Before writing this post, I donated to the West Alabama Women's Center ( and Apiary for Practical Support ( in honor of their pregnancy in the hopes of providing their future child freedom of choice, reproductive rights, the right to privacy, and access to healthcare.

Couple stands on a beach at sunset, looking down at their pregnant belly.

Tayja and Gabe are a queer couple, and this is their first pregnancy. They were both so excited for the session; Tayja bought two dresses from and Gabe hunted down that excellent printed button up. Our first location was at Winema Beach.

Winema Beach seemed more secluded than some of the other spots close by (Cape Kiwanda, Neskowin, Bob Straub). It's a short walk from the small parking area (6-7 cars max before you have to park up the road and walk) to the beach. Once you pass through the tall grasses, the beach is long and flat, with very little debris, trees, or rocks. You can see haystack rocks and cliffs in the distance, but Winema itself has no big natural structures.

Tayja and Gabe sit on the sand together at Winema Beach with Cape Kiwanda in the background
Gabe kneels and kisses Tayja's pregnant belly with the mountains and ocean in the background at Winema beach.
Tayja laughs and holds her pregnant belly sitting in the sand. Gabe puts a hand on her belly too.

The tall grass between the parking lot and beach had a small trail to stand just off the beach path, and we made sure not to step off the trail.

Tayja and Gabe lean into one another, with Gabe hugging Tayja while she holds her pregnant belly. They're standing in the grass with the ocean in the background.

Tayja and Gabe lean into one another, with Gabe hugging Tayja while she holds her pregnant belly. They're standing in the grass with the ocean in the background.

The second location we drove to was Neskowin Beach, about a 6 minute drive north from Winema Beach. Neskowin was a little busier. I had actually stopped at the beach on my way to meet T & G earlier in the day to check it out when there were many more kids and families camped out and playing in the water. When we arrived for photos, the crowd had shifted to groups with bon fires further inland, so we had more of the coastline to ourselves. Walking in, we passed Neskowin Creek, which was in shade and had really gorgeous lighting.

Neskowin creek flows next to Tayja and Gabe as they whisper to each other

Proposal Rock made an interesting backdrop on the main beach area, as the sun was setting behind it. There are also cliffs on the south side of the beach that made for cinematic landscapes.

Tayja holds her belly as Gabe snuggles into them with the sunset shining though the trees - maternity photography

Tayja and Gabe look at each other at Neskowin Beach. Proposal rock is in the background.

Tayja and Gabe stand forehead to forehead with the sun shining between them with proposal rock in the background

Tayja smiles at the camera while Gabe looks at Tayja while walking together on the beach

Queer couple walks hand in hand with proposal rock in the background, walking along the shore line

Queer couple walks into the ocean holding hands, playing in the water and kicking the water to make splashes

Tayja and Gabe play in the water, kicking and splashing with the sun and proposal rock in the background

Gabe and Tayja walk while hugging, Tayja pinching the skirt of her dress to keep it out of the water as waves lap at their feet on the beach

Gabe and Tayja hold each other while the sun sets behind them on Neskowin beach

Tayja holds her pregnant belly at sunset at Neskowin beach

It was a truly magical evening - the water was chilly, but very worth it to play and walk in. I don't know that I could pick a favorite location out of the two beaches, and would absolutely recommend either/both for photo sessions due to ease of access, parking availability, and truly beautiful coastline.

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