Your best friends should definitely be gathered into a group portrait at your wedding… it’s a no brainer! Some of my clients ask ahead and put it on the to-do list. Some get to their party and realize that it is a good idea… either way, it’s something you may not be able to do as often as you like. If you were to ask me, I’d say to try for this shot right before dinner. The wedding and the cocktail hour have happened and everyone is in a fine mood by then… the pressure is off and the smiles will be easy. Give your photographer a minute or two to find the right place for the size of your group and the rest of it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. The image will go down in all of your history books forever. ;0)
This tribe of best friends had a heck of a good party at the end of August. The wedding was in a private shared garden and then they moved the crowd to the beautiful rooftop of the Eastside Exchange… a perfect venue for a Portland summer night.
Come make some history with me… it will be a gas!
Planning on having framed prints from your wedding reception? You have seen them… usually a nice portrait framed in a fat mat so that the guests can all sign it, right? Tiffany and Jon had this sweet little piece designed for them as a way to include their silly Corgis and their guests all in one place. The fingerprint inks were chosen for leaf colors and it was fun watching the guests decide where to place their leaves on the tree. If you like the idea, there is a Pinterest page with some cute ideas on fingerprint art. It’s a nice, modern version of the signing board.
The Nines Hotel made sure they had a good sized and carefully covered table stocked with cleaning wipes for after the prints… if you decide to set one of these up, make sure your guests can clean their fingers, ok?
Next time I go to Seattle, I’ll expect to see it hanging in their cute home. ;0)
I meet some of the nicest people in this work… these two were a lot of fun throughout the entire process!
There’s no place like home to have a wonderful wedding! I woke up this morning thinking about how I’d like to give my yard a makeover… somehow that thought process led me to some of my favorite home weddings. This one, from a few summers ago, was an absolute treat! Kristin & Chad have a lovely old home in the Kenton neighborhood and they decided to hold their wedding in their own backyard. They did it up right with a 5 piece brass band playing Beatles tunes, paper lanterns strung in the branches of the big tree and all of the tables on the lawn. Vibrant Table Catering set up a bar across from the front porch swing and the buffet was arranged on the back deck.
I guess the best thing about a home wedding is the utterly relaxed vibe… there is something about being able to take off your shoes as you sit on the lawn with all sorts of other relaxed people… it generally doesn’t happen that way in the big fancy ballroom weddings. ;0)
I wouldn’t have missed this one for the world!
Portland’s Courthouse is right downtown in the middle of some of our most interesting architecture and it is at it’s prettiest in the fall. Last Friday, on Halloween, I met with Michelle and Heather at one of the parks nearby. Joined by about a dozen family members, we spent some time taking care of family shots in the fading light. Then the three of us took a photo sort of stroll around the block for some personal portraits… the two of them giggling and smiling the entire time. By the time we got back to the courthouse, it was time to go through the security dance and head upstairs to wait for the judge. Nerves were starting to show and these two propped each other up… thankfully the judge was very kind and the wait was pretty short. I saw a lot of love in that courtroom… these two were well married.
I know a lot of people believe that a courthouse wedding isn’t as good somehow but that’s just not the case. These two young women had decided early on that the whole wedding circus wasn’t that big a deal to them. The three hours I spent with them proved to be a very sweet day indeed. ;0)
Big wedding, little wedding… let’s talk about it, ok?
Sexy Boy Handsome Team is how the business cards read… they were handed out to the guests just before the toast by the Best Man at Matt and Christie’s wedding. Apparently, that was the subject heading in the e mail that Matt sent out to his groomsmen as the wedding was being planned.The toast that went with it and the ones that followed really played up the fact that these guys are all really good friends. The vibe was easy going and the suits were really cute… the women were cut from the same cloth. All of them, bride and groom included, were a treat on that warm sunny day last summer.
I imagine this crowd keeping in touch as the years roll out… I imagine kids and dogs and some age creeping in but I think that the core will hold for a long time. I hope somewhere in those far away times that they will revisit these pictures and remember a summer day when they were very young.
Making some plans for your own wedding? Make it as personal as possible… you won’t regret it.
Once upon a time, there was a rehearsal dinner at a beautiful California vineyard in Sutter Creek, right in the foothills of the Sierras. Kenrick and Lindy had everyone fly in for this wonderful weekend. They had hired me completely over the phone… we had some long conversations and many e mails and found that we were a good fit. It was nice to get to know them a little better at the rehearsal and to be made welcome into their good crowd. The wedding went off the next day to great success… astounding food, fancy dancing and, for the end of the night, a local bowling alley complete with disco lights.
Fast forward to this coming January and you will find me in Old Town Alexandria happily covering his brother’s wedding. (Kenrick is the man in the cool hat and Chris is the man receiving a really nice bottle of single malt.) For Jennifer and Chris, all of our planning has been over the phone and in e mails but I’m pretty sure I am going to know some of the crowd a little better at the upcoming rehearsal dinner. I can’t wait!
Destination weddings? You bet!
Translation is the rendering of the same ideas in a different language from the original. Jen’s dress was hanging next to her exotic shawl when I got to the condo. The shawl got most of my attention in the initial encounter. She continued getting ready and the chatter was about getting to the Tram on time. I busied myself with some other small details until she got into her dress. Having met her in a pretty casual outfit and then, today, in her bathrobe, I was stunned by how perfectly she and that dress came together. I love it when my clients have such a great sense of what works!
We had our small parade of women walking to the Tram knowing that Mike was waiting at the top. Jen rocked that dress for several good portraits while we waited to board but it was at the top when I saw a space to really make it work… the opposite wall had the same rich base tones as her shawl.We didn’t have more than a couple of minutes but it made all the difference. ;0)
Translation is really what photography is about if you think about it. A special day is set in motion and a good photographer is there to translate it for future enjoyment. When it is done with an open mind and a willing heart, the results are priceless.
Engagement photos can happen anytime… the rules have become much more relaxed and I’m fine with that. These guys, Gary and Steven, jumped the date for legal same sex weddings in Oregon by getting married in Vancouver last Spring. We all went to the courthouse and did the less romantic version to get the wedding done. Now, at the end of October, they will throw a great party for their family and friends. What has been missing in all of this was a chance to take portraits of the two of them in any kind of relaxed and sweet fashion. At the beginning of July, we spent a couple of hours at the Pittock Mansion in an attempt to give them something to hold for the rest of their lives… pictures to frame and take their place on the mantle piece where the rest of their special photographs live…. something to say, look, we are truly a couple and this is a reminder for all time.
Some people will tell you that engagement photos have to happen when you get engaged but that just isn’t the case. Sweet portraits can happen before or after or anywhere in between. It just doesn’t matter. What matters is that I have two people in love and the chance to put that on paper at some point in the relationship. For me, I have had the pleasure to get to know two very nice people and now I get to cover their party in a couple of weeks… how cool is that?
Getting married? Come talk to me… I love my job!
The Final Frontier is the phrase that comes to mind when I look at this picture… my couple asked me to step into the men’s room high above Portland at the Nines’s Hotel. They have explored the Nines over several visits from Seattle and they really liked the trippy light and the strange colors on the rooftop level. Departures is not always available for camera time but we were lucky to have about 20 minutes to play before they opened it to the popular afternoon cocktails and fine dining crowd.
Our keys to this rarefied kingdom came from Charlotte Bell… she has to be the most helpful hotel event coordinator I have ever worked with! The entire event from start to finish was in the hotel and every section of it came off without a hitch. Charlotte took me up to Tiffany’s room and then was available with her express key to get us to the roof for a first look. From there down to the lobby for group photos and then back to the roof to play before the ceremony. Never once did we have to wait for her and that tells me that my bride and groom were well taken care of.
The planning is important but the people who will be on hand to see those plans through, those people are priceless.
Next summer, somewhere in Portland, a really sweet couple will sit down on a warm August evening to open a pretty wooden box. Inside they will find a bottle of wine and two love letters sealed the day they married. Imagine hearing the letters a year after they were written… how much sweeter is it with that year between them? Maybe the best thing to do is to buy another bottle of wine and to each write another love letter for the coming year. Somewhere in time, there would be a whole box of these written treasures to share with each other and maybe with generations to come. Good idea, yes?
To my mind this is much more personal than a Unity candle or some of the other sharings I see during ceremonies. If it suits your personalities, it might work nicely for you. ;0)
The venue here is Castaway, a cool urban spot in an industrial corner of Portland overlooking the Fremont Bridge.
Steve Sharp is the nice man officiating… anybody would enjoy working with him!
The light curtain of air ferns was just right as a backdrop… by the talented team at Creations by Ly.
I was the lucky photographer… happy to be along for the ride!