silas sao

Nocturne with Paris Call

LifestyleSilas SaoComment

One of my favorite aspects about photography is human connection. Being able to come together with another person, or even multiple, and create something is very gratifying. Paris is a traveling model from southern Oregon who consistently shoots here in Portland. She reached out to me a couple months before writing this post wanting to shoot. I was in Chicago at the time, but made a point to contact her when I arrived back home. With our matched love for dark beauty and moody portraiture, I couldn't let this opportunity pass. We set a date for middle of November.

Fast forward two weeks, she contacted me on a Thursday night telling me she would be in town the next day. This was about a month or so earlier than we had scheduled. She asked if I would be down for a last minute shoot since she'd already be in town. I wasn't busy that day and everything kind of just fell into place. We linked up in the afternoon, grabbed a quick snack then headed to my apartment to look through some photo props. At home, I have a box of stuff for photo shoots. Anytime I'm looking to involve something extra for a shoot, I go to the box. I had never shot with body paint before and neither had Paris. We both decided it would be fun to try out. We grabbed some black body paint and headed to the forest.

I love using my friends and strangers as subjects, but working with experienced models is totally different. They've done this before. They know how to pose, they know when to switch poses and they know what works best for them. They have a confidence in front of the camera that is very admirable. It allows for more photos (and more keepers) to be taken away in the same amount of time or less. After a couple hours of shooting we called it a wrap.

Paris and I are scheduled to shoot again in a few weeks. You can expect to see more work with her and myself. Until then, please enjoy this set I've put together.

You can find Paris on Instagram via @paris_call

I have put other photos from this set on my website.

Hope you enjoyed reading :)

Mighty Killers in the Northwest

Travel, LifestyleSilas SaoComment

Living in the Portland, I get to meet all kinds of creatives. I had the pleasure of meeting Chris a couple of months ago when we were introduced by fellow photographer and common friend David.

I asked Chris to help me out with a project for the Might Killers Explore Tee an MK Basic Cap. Accompanied by my other friends Nick, Natalie and Leanna we road tripped it out to the Oregon Coast to catch sunset. As we arrived at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, I could tell this was going to be another beautiful Oregon summer sunset.

It wasn’t until we pulled onto the beach did I find out this was Chris’ first trip to Cape Kiwanda. In awe from the beautiful scenery, Chris’ expressions began to reignite my inspiration for this place. I’ve been to Cape Kiwanda more times than I can count on my fingers, but this time it was different. I got to help someone experience it for the first time. That in itself can be inspiring for me. Adventuring with people to places I’ve photographed before can help me find a more unique angle of a similar location. A new mind can bring all kinds of new ideas. It’s an awesome feeling.

Let me share with you what we brought back from Cape Kiwanda.

Landmark Lurkin Toronto

Travel, Events.Comment

Much love to the 6! Thank you everyone who came out to our Landmark Lurkin in Toronto this past weekend. It was dope to finally meet everyone and shoot along such an inspiring and supportive community. A special thank you to our hosts for the event: 

@alenpalander  @tilore  @smvrk  @dashgrey  @seandshoots  @silassao 

Stay tuned for the next Landmark Lurkin event, it may be coming to a city near you! 

Sunrise at Larch Mountain

Travel, LifestyleSilas Sao1 Comment

I have a love-hate relationship with sunrises. I’m definitely not a morning person so getting up at 4 a.m. after closing my eyes at 1 a.m. is not my idea of a good morning. I work late into the night and I usually enjoy the limited sleep I do get. The trade off? A sunrise can produce some of the most insane lighting you’ll ever see or get to work with. Our trip out to Larch Mountain was a perfect example of this.

We made plans to go on this adventure the night before. After we settled on a location, I messaged my friend Brandi immediately to see if she wanted to tag along. I love Brandi’s look and always enjoy shooting her so I was excited to see what we could come up with. Nick and Chloe picked me up from my house around 4 a.m the following morning. After I packed my things into the car we headed over to SE Portland to pick up Brandi. After getting on the road, we had just enough time to catch the sunrise. We booked it out to Larch Mountain, which is about an hour away from my apartment in Portland. We pull into the parking lot and take a short hike up some stairs, staring into the rising sun, to reach Sherrard Point. From this point you have an absolutely breathtaking view of the Cascade volcanoes. This view had quickly put it at the top of my list for must see spots in the Gorge. If you've never experienced a sunrise, I highly suggest that you do sometime. After taking it all in and snapping a few photos we headed back to the city to grab some much needed coffee and breakfast from a local spot in my neighborhood.

Larch Mountain has got to be one of my favorite locations in the Northwest to date. I hope my visuals can do this place some sort of justice. I also hope you enjoy some of the portraits I got of my friends. 

Thanks for reading!

Maui's Upcountry

TravelSilas SaoComment

When you tell people you’re going to Maui, the first thing that comes to their mind is you laying out on the beach, grabbing that nice Hawaiian tan and having someone constantly bring you cocktails. It’s true, there is a place like that, but it’s not for telling this time around. I’m here to tell you about the other side. A side where you rarely see a paved road. Where there are jungles with bamboo that is twice, if not triple, your size. A side where you climb the trees for the fresh coconuts. Hike through a “backyard”, that looks like another jungle, where you can jump into a huge ass swimming hole.

Please follow along as I tell you a visual story featuring places like the Commando Trail in the Bamboo Forest, Keanae and Wialua Valley, and even the Road to Hana. These places and more are what the locals refer to as, Upcountry.

Special thanks to Tzigany for showing me and my buddy Chad this side of Maui. 

Secrets of the Northwest

TravelSilas SaoComment

I made the move to the Pacific Northwest about 5 months ago and it has been, hands down, one of the best decisions I've made in a long time. I lived in Los Angeles before this and San Francisco before that, and I can tell you, the Northwest is a very special place.

Recently, I was told about a bridge that was somewhat hidden. I was only told a few things about this place so finding it was a bit challenging. After an hour or so of Google searches and map panning, I had found what I hoped was the spot. I linked up with my friends Nick, David and Makena to check it out.

When we first arrived, we headed down towards the river in an attempt to walk the bank hoping we could get to the bridge. We quickly realized we were on the wrong path. As we walked back to where we parked we asked someone who was camping if he knew where this bridge was. Luckily, he knew exactly what we were looking for and lined out some directions in the dirt. We headed back to the area we parked because apparently thats where this trailhead was. We followed the directions local camper gave us and in about 30-45 minutes of hiking we had arrived at the location. A suspension bridge going across a river surrounded by beautiful rock. We took a moment to soak it all in, walking back and forth on the bridge as it swayed from side to side. The hike in was nice, the trees were green and the flowers were blooming. It's moments like these when I truly realize how incredible my new home is.

Memorial Day weekend in Mt. Hood

Travel, LifestyleSilas Sao1 Comment

Hi, my name is Silas and I'm a photographer based in Portland, Oregon. This is my first story on the Mighty Killers blog so I wanted to try and make it a good one. Since it was Memorial Day weekend, I wanted to create a photo themed for that. Accompanied by my friends Nick, Chloe and Anna we set off on our adventure. This day, we had no plan and no set route to go, but I wanted the photo to have a moody feel so we decided to head into the forest.

We left around 12:30 P.M. figuring the overcast weather in Portland was an indication of some nice soft light. Unfortunately, as soon as we hit the base of the mountain, the clouds disappeared almost instantly. Here we were, right in the middle of a completely clear day with the sun beating right on top of us. We stopped at one location and hiked in, but the shots we got didn't have the moody feel I was going for. We decided to keep driving closer to the top of the mountain in hopes of finding better weather at higher elevation. As we arrive at the top we start to see the fog rolling in, giving us hope that we could still pull this off. We found a sign for Barlow Road and decided to give it a shot. We parked the car and started trekking into the forest to look for a good location. Ahead of us we see a patch of light on the ground and decide it would be perfect for this shot. We setup, pop the smoke and start firing. This time I had got the shot I was looking for, Success! We roam around, take a couple more shots with some of the other smoke we had, take a couple portraits and decide to head out to visit the top of the mountain. We get to the top and even though there wasn't much snow we still got to enjoy the view before heading back home for the evening. A special thanks to Nick for driving us and to Chloe and Anna for being models for the day. Nothing better than a good day of shooting in great company.