Preservation Jazz Hall is a place where history has piled up and I think photography is a kind of a pile of history, too. Everyone has their own version of a place so each history may seem a little different but if you put them all in the pile, it blends into itself and comes down to us of a piece.
Someday soon, Opera Boy and I are going to travel to New Orleans for a visit. It’s been 40 some-odd years since I lived in the French Quarter but parts of it rush up behind my eyes with such clarity that it is hard to ignore. When he decided that it was our next destination, I got the scanner out and pulled some of my favorite images of the Quarter from the early ’70’s.
This one was from a hot October night at Preservation Hall… it was crammed with steamy people and nobody cared because the music was so fine!
Of course there will be a camera in my hand when we go… hoping against hope that it hasn’t become it’s own little theme park… hoping to catch a glimpse of my younger self on the avenue or looking out a window. Someday can’t come soon enough. ;0)
I added this and a handful of others to my website… now that I have a Personal Work section, even I get to visit them more often. Maybe I’ll see you there? ;0)
That first dance can be absolutely terrifying for most people. It doesn’t matter how much you have practiced in your living room… reality sets in when you have so many friends watching. And you both know it’s not cool to count out loud and look at each other’s feet.
I like the people whose first dance is a “What the hell, let’s just go for it!” kind of dance. There is always laughing and smiling between them because it really is just about the two of them… and that is what makes for compelling pictures.
Elena and Leigh have been a favorite couple in my long career… they have such an intensely special relationship. They have been in front of my cameras for several important parts of their lives and I am glad to have them in my circle of friends. Engagement to wedding to belly to baby to entire family… seems like we have a grand rhythm in our history so far… I love that I get to see them grow up a little every year.
The rooftop of the Ecotrust is a pretty great space for weddings if you can pick the cooler parts of the season… or if you want a whole lot of sunshine. ;0)
Let’s make happy pictures for your life!
Pedicabs roam the streets of Portland all through the year hauling tourists and locals from this hotel to that restaurant. It’s a nice visual break in the crowded streets. But the best is when a wedding group goes by! Picture a crowd of 18 pedicabs streaming down the avenue… people in cars wave and honk, the folks waiting at the streetcar stops get big silly grins on their faces and everyone has that little trip back that turns a grown-up into a kid again.
If you choose to add pedicabs to your day, make sure you have one reserved for your photographer… the driver of that cab needs to be able to move around the whole crowd and still keep the camera fairly close to the newlyweds. It’s an interesting experience to be in that seat trying to catch what’s around you… I suppose there is a zen to giving up the control… just go where the driver takes you and keep your eyes wide open. ;0)
The Aisle Walk is that great part of the day when you have made it past the hard work… nothing but good times ahead, right? Emotionally, this walk is a real mix for most people… sometimes the newlyweds are able to focus on the faces of their friends as they swing by and sometimes they are too stunned to focus on anything except getting out of sight for a few minutes. Mostly, I see huge amounts of joy and the camera loves that. ;0)
Personally, I think this is one of the best arguments for doing the formal group photos before the wedding. The Aisle Walk is the beginning of the face time with your guests and you can bet they are ready to get on with it! If you can dive right into the crowd during a cocktail hour, no one is going to feel left out. Receiving lines and bossy photographers can harsh that vibe in a heartbeat. Plan on getting the “business” photography out of the way early and then, if you and your photographer want a small session of relaxed portraits, it can be done easily.
A lot of my couples opt for a 15 minute session right before dinner… they get to have most of the cocktail hour and then when their guests are starting to jockey for a table, we head out into the softer light and get the romantic shots. Nobody misses you for that short time and, if you like, you can be announced to the crowd when you come back. Party on!
I love my job!