Palm Springs escape

When it’s cold and rainy in Portland, an easy getaway and my go-to for quick sunshine is always Palm Springs! This time I went with my two boys, a carryon and a new book. It was our first visit to Joshua Tree too…what an incredible place. As always, a week in the desert is the perfect cure for a long, wet winter!

lena hyde
family of four

Oh, how I love a house with great light! Look at these gorgeous images of mom, dad and their two little ladies being themselves and having a good time. Ah, kids know how to live in the moment~

lena hyde
Visiting Havana Cuba

I just returned from a trip of a lifetime to Havana, Cuba with a group of close friends. We did so much, it’s almost a blur, but I have some of my favorites listed for you below the images. Do reach out if you are planning a trip; I have some incredible people to refer to you for driving and tours of a lifetime!

My Havana Must-Do Experiences:

Dinner at Ivan Chef Justo Paladar
Owned and operated by one time private chef of Fidel Castro, the restaurant is located on the second and third floors of a building that is over 200 years old; there is a comfortable airy feel to the restaurant and the food is excellent. 

Havana Day Tour
Walking tour in Old Havana, the city ́s Historic Center, and a ride around New Havana ́s main neighborhoods: Centro Habana and Vedado. Finca Vigia; Ten miles east of Havana near the small fishing town of Cojimar is Hemingway's home - Finca Vigia, meaning "lookout house". Here, Hemingway wrote two of his most celebrated novels: For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. 

Sr. Gustavo Silvino, Sommelier
Cigar expert offers a rum and cigar tasting. He pairs cigars with the best Cuban rums and explains everything about how cigars are made and smoked.

Convento de Belen
Visit a community project where senior citizens are permanent residents and dozens more come daily for activities, meals and medical care. Convento de Belen also provides services for mentally and physically disabled children and operates a daycare center for young children. Donations of all kinds are much appreciated here.

Panoramic tour in classic cars

Dinner at La Guarida Paladar. 
On the top floor of a spectacularly dilapidated Havana tenement, the ambiance, art and food are absolutely incredible.

Tropicana Night Club
The open-air cabaret show is little changed since its 1950s heyday, with scantily clad señoritas descending from palm trees to dance Latin salsa amid bright lights.

Dinner at El Cocinero Paladar 
El Cocinero is a paladar that used to be an old vegetable oil factory located in Vedado. Dinner on the rooftop terrace is magical and the food is also some of the best I had in Havana.

Fabrica de Arte
Fabrica de Arte is a must-see nightclub, performance space, and art gallery hybrid in Havana. Art enthusiasts of all varieties gather in this span of exhibition spaces, featuring modern and traditional Cuban art. Genres of art include architecture, visual arts, cinema, dance, graphic design, industrial design, photography, fashion, music, and theater.  

lena hyde
In Studio Twins Portraits
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These two guys were full of energy and spunk. Luckily, I had their awesome dad to assist and make some super funny faces behind my back.

lena hyde
portraits with fall color (and a little rain!)
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These sweet kiddos travelled all the way from Seattle for their portraits and we were so lucky to be able to capture the beautiful fall leaves in spite of a couple of Portland-style rain breaks. I love when Mother Nature comes through for me, especially when there is no chance for rescheduling!

lena hyde
Downtown Kids Portraits
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More twin cuties! I am feeling spoiled with all these beautiful kids, amazing weather, and fun backdrops. Life is good!

lena hyde
Twinning: Fun Portraits

Sometimes my favorite images are the portraits that happen after the shoot is over…like this series of twins being twins.

lena hyde