The architecture of a face is in the bone structure, yes, but more in the character of the person. You can tell by how they carry themselves that they are strong or soft, complex or simple. All of that means that there is a sense of architecture in a good portrait.
Cait married Matt on a blustery September afternoon in downtown Portland… the wedding was at the elegant University Club… an institution in the very best sense of the word. When it was time to have them out for portraits, we went out into the streets looking for good light and interesting spaces. They both brought this wonderful sense of play to the table and they trusted me to make it work.
Everyone has an interesting face… the key to it is to be alive in your own skin… stop worrying about the magazines and the media. The architecture of your face won’t be like anyone else and that is something to be celebrated.
Let’s talk about interesting pictures, ok?
Be still… be really still for just a moment. Sometimes I see a chance to make an interesting portrait but I know it will hinge on the ability of my subject to just focus for a minute and that can be really hard to do on a fast paced wedding day.
Tiffany and Jon wanted to have their first meeting on the rooftop of The Nines so off we went… we did several in the bright September sun with Portland all laid out around us. To get to that section of the roof, we walked through this very dark, breezy space with tall shifting panels of gauze. It was sort of trippy and it registered in the back of my mind as something interesting. Just as we were finishing up, we walked past this hallway on our way to the elevator and I got to see it differently. I knew time was tight but I asked Tiffany to stand in the space and to hold very still… I was working without a tripod and I knew that flash would ruin what I was seeing so I turned my shutter way down and leaned hard into the wall. She did her elegant best and we have this glamorous piece as our prize. ;0)
A professional photographer will see the possibilities and make them work… how about that?
In the mirror is a familiar face… the bluejeans are crumpled in the corner and you are feeling the slight edge of the veil on your bare shoulders. It’s been a long time in the planning mode but here you are… dressed and polished to a high point you don’t quite recognize. And, yet, it’s you all along. Familiar is about to change for you and your other half in so many ways… it will take some time but you will see the differences as the years go by. The two of you become more of a team than you ever thought possible… if you are lucky, it only gets better. Old, comfortable familiar becomes new and better familiar and life goes on.
Today, though, is the day to look in the mirror, before the ceremony and all of the people descend on you and see just who you are about to become. It can be quite magical. ;0)
Lauren married Dustin on a warm September evening in Abigail’s Garden at Oregon City’s Abernethy Center. Geranium Lake Flowers staged a fantasy night flavored with Harry Potter references and the night went on for many lovely hours. What I know is that the planning paid off and these two are off on their new journey… new worlds are ahead.
Instead of a Unity candle, consider a Sands Ceremony… you might be sweetly surprised by how personal it can be.
At it’s simplest, a sand ceremony involves a blending of two different-colored sands into a single container. The meaning is clear: The blending of two lovers, into an inseparable unit that is their marriage — the joining of their lives. Hard as it would be to separate out those grains of sand, that’s how difficult it is to separate these two people. Like the Unity candle, this Sands Ceremony can be done at any point in the marriage ceremony… it’s also not going to be too dependent on wind conditions. I have seen couples who are blending their families bring the children forward to add colored sands of their own and I have seen sands from around the globe incorporated into the mix… a way to pull your histories together.
The vessel you choose will dictate the shapes of the sand layers… I would advise trying a couple of containers ahead of time so that you have an idea what sort of artistic piece you might have after the wedding. You should also take into account that it will need to be transported carefully so that the layers stay distinct… this is not something to throw into a purse and take to the reception. ;0)
Michelle and Heather will have this reminder for many years to come.
Again, anything that makes your wedding day more personal is a good thing.
Let me know if I can help!
Remember when wedding photos were kind of stodgy? Attitudes have changed over the years in the best way!
Posing a wedding party used to be about symmetry and well dressed people on their best behaviour… the men all on one side with their hands folded in front and the women all turned just so with their matching bouquets lined up. I have worked a little against this for many years, trying to fit it to each client’s need for their real friends vs the staged lineup. The prevailing attitudes have brought a wonderful sense of fun to the whole process. These days, I’ll do one or two staged set ups for the older generations but if I can get the wedding party or the family groups to play in front of my camera, I feel like I have done my job very well. Many years down the road, you should be able to look back at these pictures of your family and friends and recognize them as the fabulous people in your tribe… not just a well dressed group you happen to know.
I’m hoping there will be a day soon when the brides and grooms follow their own hearts instead of blindly checking off a list in a magazine… make the day your own and have a blast!
Happy to be along for the ride! ;0)