Monthly Archives: March 2011

Time Out

Every wedding day goes by too fast. As a photographer, I spend that day in documentary mode… not posing, not directing, not getting in the way. However, I firmly believe that I am entitled to about 15 minutes of uninterrupted time with my couple away from the crowd. If possible, I’ll take 15 minutes twice during the day. I want it to be when the light is good and it is important that they can relax for a bit. The relaxing is the hard part for a lot of people so the less posing, the better. I find that the personalities will come to the surface and I can usually pull that mood into the setting. The portraits should fit the couple.

Erin and Rob gave me so many cool chances that muggy day… we were at the Jupiter Hotel and somehow,it looks like a small southern town. We had some very urban corners to work in and they brought all of their love and feisty spirit to bear. And then they moved to Texas. I hope they come back to Portland soon… great people!

Cold Walking

Venice. This time in the beginning of February, 2007. (I try to word it in such a fashion that by some happy chance, I’ll get to go again someday.) Opera Boy and I were there for four fog cloaked days this trip… a much different city than in the Spring. Funny that both arrivals and departures were on sunny days. 

We had come in on the midnight train from Paris… twelve hours of rocketing through a dark landscape I’d liked to have seen. The first sight of Venice is one I have not photographed yet… it is a place where all of the land vehicles stop and all of the water starts. So far, it brings me to my visual knees and I am consumed just being there. Next time I will collect myself and make a point of catching that amazing transition. Our first chore this trip was to find our hotel and a laundromat.

The fog settled in and we spent the next couple of days wandering at will.

This day brought me a blister, a few small pieces of local pottery and three glass cherries each for me and my sister. Best of all, it gave me new vistas at every turn… a veritable treasure box of images.

The Straw Bridge, the lower one with the crowd on it is pretty much what the whole city is like. Tourism is huge here and probably not a little abusive. I came away from both trips with a sense of wanting to help preserve this special place. If you go, treat her gently.

The Dinner Hour… Grace and Restraint

I think it’s important to have a collection of images from the wedding feast without making those awkward fork-in-face close ups. If you have a buffet service, it’s easy enough to showcase the food before it’s on the plates but if you have a seated dinner it becomes a different thing altogether. Ambiance and mood are key elements in any reception. As a photographer, I still have to bring it back for the bride and groom but I have to avoid embarrassing anyone. With any luck, I am still mostly invisible in the process.

This was a lovely summer wedding in the Heritage Ballroom at the Governor Hotel in downtown Portland.

Location Scout

Whenever possible, I go out to a venue about a week before the wedding date to check out the light. Granted, our lovely Oregon weather can be a real game changer but soft cloudy days are fine… it’s the really hard bright days that you need to be ready for.

Large and rowdy group shots at 2:00 on a sunny afternoon? You bet… let’s go over where we can get the best light. Jac and Drew came with me to approve this location… the original plan would have been pretty awful. ;0)

Work with your professional photographer… good things will happen!

Francoise Weeks Florist… an Unabashed Recommendation

There are some fine and wonderful florists in our fair city but I am always drawn to the art of Francoise Weeks. She seems to have an infinite connection to her own wide universe and a capacity for the translation of it. If you can give her an idea or two about what you like, she can bring intricate miracles to the table. All it takes is a little time and some trust in her many talents.

These two arrangements are enhanced a bit by the dirt under the fingernails of the older and the band-aid of the younger… still, charm abounds! I love flower girls!

Let me know if I can help you find the vendors of your dreams, ok?

I Am Staff

Frankie pretty much runs the house. He certainly tries to run my office as well. Part of his job description as Office Manager is to exercise me. I have to get out of my chair at regular intervals to feed him cat crackers. We also have an aerobic routine involving mopping the floor every other day because the muddy footprints are becoming dimensional.The Stand in Front of the Monitor pose is the cracker request mostly, although he will use it to ask me to get off of the phone, too.

The other day, I rearranged some of my shelving so that I could put my external hard drives in a less cat accessible space… Frankie decided that he had a better use for one of the empty cubbies.

I have since taken that space back but you can bet there is a new mutiny brewing in his furry brain.