I believe that ‘Art is not what you see, but what you inspire others to see’.

My name is Colleen Cahill, I am an artist, a photographer by definition. I have spent my life working with people on a creative level, and I love what I do! I am very passionate about photography and the processes that go into creating great work. I am extremely hard working and definite Type ‘A’ personality.

I picked up a camera in high school and have never put it down since.  The camera became an extension of everything I am today. I am self taught ‘Old School’, driven by mentors who believed in doing it over, and over again, until you got it perfect. This is a trait that I apply to every aspect of my life.

I began my career in the dark, literally in a darkroom, eventually working my way into the light to become a Portrait Photographer where my gift of working with people was realized. Always pushing the edge of creativity, I soon found Portraiture too constraining and ridged, so I set my sights on Fashion, and a new era and direction was born…

My first Fashion/Advertising assignment was for the Norm Thompson’s Primary Layer Catalog. I spent the next fifteen years shooting campaigns for Nike, Pendleton, Fred Meyer and Payless. During this time I was honored by the Portland’s Women’s Fashion Group in conjunction with the Portland Art Museum as part of the Pioneering Women in Photography Exhibit. I was singled out as a ‘Pioneer’ for women as a leading Female Fashion Photographer in the Northwest.

I enjoy sharing my love of photography. I designed and instructed the Portrait Photography Section of the Mt. Hood Community College Associates Program and taught Fashion Photography at Portland State. I also mentor students and take on several internships each year.

I have owned and operated my own business for over twenty-five years, with as many as six employees and two studio locations. I would say my biggest strength is in my ability to capture that pinnacle moment that creates an amazing image, no matter what the situation. I believe my true gift lies in my uncanny capability to relate to every client regardless of stature and the adept way in which I work with the natural elements on site.  Ninety percent of my portfolio is shot using only existing light.

Most recently I have created my own line of greeting cards, broadened my diversity in Sports Photography with my new ‘X Series’ and continue to actively shoot images for stock agencies.

On a more personal note, I am very passionate about family and living life to its fullest!  I have a twenty-four year old daughter working as a Visual Artist in Manhattan, and a feisty fifteen year old creative and athletic daughter at home. I have always felt a need to move, never to sit and watch life pass me by. Some might call it hyperactivity, but not me, I call it a blessing. I love to participate in anything athletic, water skiing coming only second to my love of Photography.

I was given a gift, and through a small box I can capture, create, savor everything life is, or how I can imagine it to be. How many people get to do that? I am truly blessed!

Colleen Cahill


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