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A ponytailed toddler grips her sunglasses determinedly as her parents crouch, smiling, in the background. Walking atop either side of a railroad track, a young couple bridges the distance with their hands. In the midst of wedding preparations, a bride pauses to read a love letter from her soon-to-be spouse. These are a few of the fleeting moments placed in a beautiful image-jail by This Is Life Photography’s founder Marisa. Fascinated by the power of freezing time since she was a child, she composes portraits and wedding scenes with an eye toward creating mementos that can be handed down for generations.

6115 SE Salmon St
Portland,
OR
US

Staffed entirely by DMV–certified instructors, Oregon Driver Education Center has been filling potholes in the knowledge of novice and experienced drivers since 1987. The center's masters of the open road send teens and adults on the path to earning their driver's licenses and maintaining clean driving records with comprehensive DMV drive test prep courses and defense driving classes. With an intimate understanding of the unique challenges facing Oregonian motorists, ODEC also offers an Xtreme Driver Control course that focuses on navigating vehicles through rain, ice, and throngs of rabid snowmen. Additionally, the center's specialty courses teach precautionary practices to medically at-risk drivers.

546 Northeast 12th Avenue
Portland,
OR
US

Don’t be surprised by the yoga equipment hanging from the ceiling. At Shakti House, the dangling silk slings are used in aerial yoga classes, which are designed to boost blood flow and decompress spines. Aerial yoga practitioners wrap around their legs around the soft slings to perform graceful inversions, and slip their arms through them for added support during challenging poses. However, aerial yoga is just one of the more than 25 yoga styles practiced at Shakti House.

The veteran team of instructors also leads ground-bound classes in yin, hatha, ashtanga, and kundalini yoga styles, helping yogis of all levels beat stress and build strength and flexibility. Their Pilates mat classes, meanwhile, build core strength more effectively and than a 24-hour tickle fight. In total, they lead more than 30 classes per week, but visitors don’t have to workout every time they stop by the studio—they can also browse an on-site boutique stocked with Lucy activewear, handmade jewelry, and rotating art displays.

1401 Southeast Morrison Street
Portland,
OR
US

He's served in the US Army Special Forces, has a degree in behavior modification, and instructs black belt-level martial arts classes. In a word, Walter Chase is tough. He founded Fighting Chance to give others the same amount of control over their lives, be it through self-defense classes or conflict-resolution programs. Walter also works with at-risk kids during 8-week gang-prevention programs, where he uses poetry readings and group discussions to increase their confidence and help them make better life decisions.

1122 Southeast Ankeny Street
Portland,
OR
US

Powerhouse Mentors provide a stable relationship in the midst of an often-chaotic experience, where teens may shift regularly between different foster homes and schools, and may be forced to achieve independence by their 18th birthdays. During the course of one year in the Powerhouse Mentoring Program, mentors and youths meet 10 hours per month. The program trains volunteer mentors in an intensive one-day workshop to facilitate the development of strong, lasting relationships with foster youths. Experts speak to future mentors about some of the traumas that appear frequently in the foster system, including attachment disorder and fetal-alcohol syndrome. Powerhouse still needs additional funding to cover the cost of its next workshop in order to pay for the speaker's fee and meals for 15–25 mentor trainees.

5605 E Burnside St
Portland,
OR
US

Yuen Lui Studio, a family-owned photography business specializing in individual and family portraits, has been creating photographic heirlooms since 1947. With your 20- to 30-minute photo session ($30), get your soul captured indoors at Yuen Lui's studio, boasting 16 background options, or let nature provide the backdrop at Aliso Beach's outdoor picture-taking spots. Up to eight people can appear in the shoot (additional subjects will incur an extra cost), making this deal an ideal opportunity to upgrade the framed family photos that have been hanging in your parents’ home for the past 600 years. Now that you aren’t riddled with acne or plagued with a six-year-old’s gummy smile, split the cost with your sibs and surprise your folks with a more up-to-date snapshot just in time for the holidays.

2606 NE Broadway St
Portland,
OR
US