The first dance as newlyweds is always pretty special. As I watched Shannon and Amos twirling across the floor at the Armory, their smiles kept getting brighter and, soon, the whole crowd was smiling with them. That kind of happy is contagious and that is a good thing. ;0)
I know that when we think of destination weddings, we think of places other than Portland but if the couple and most of the guests are coming in from out of town, that makes this a destination wedding, right? That means our job as local vendors is to make these people happy to be here. Portland’s Armory, also known as the Gerding Theater at the Armory, is a fine place to stage a wedding. I must confess that I was surprised to have a mid-July couple having an indoor event… so many of our local couples are hell bent on vineyards and gardens for their summer nuptials because the weather is finally ready to cooperate. This couple, from New York, were actually quite lucky to be at the Armory… that weekend was one of our recent high 90°s spells. Once inside this sturdy old building, everyone was very comfortable.
A first dance in a cool and interesting space filled with your family and friends… what’s not to like? Come talk to me if you are planning a wedding… there is plenty of information to share. ;0)
Global warming came to our lovely town last week and she has overstayed her welcome. I’ve lived in Portland for 35 years and this last couple of summers have been much less predictable than usual… it might be time to consider getting married in our cooler months… maybe give up on some of the scorching sunny weekends that have always been so popular. This weekend found me at two weddings where we had to change up our portrait plans to save ourselves. In the process, I had to step away from the ideas previously set and aim us in different directions.
Monday’s wedding was set for the Blue Sky Gallery in the Park Blocks… a cool and cozy space for an intimate crowd. Kira and Terry requested that I be available to take portraits of their guests so, during brunch, I looked in all of the corners of the venue to see if I could avoid taking people out into the hard, hot light. A very small space behind the piano and the window display caught my eye so I asked the couple who attended to the bride to come sit for me. I was quite intrigued by the tones and the clothes in that small, graphic space. Since they could be seen from the other end of the room, I was pleasantly surprised to have a steady stream of subjects come play in that space, including the bride and groom.
Kudos always to my friend Kara Markovich of Ella Events… fabulous wedding planner!!
Kira and Terry are going to have some real and interesting portraits of some of their dearest people… pictures that last a very long time. And no one had to sweat. ;0)
Global warming is going to hand us a lot of stuff to deal with… stay flexible, ok?
Engagement Sessions are a great way to see how the whole dynamic might work for your wedding day. There are 4 parts of the puzzle… there are the two of you and then you add a photographer and a camera. When those 4 pieces work well, you get wonderful results.
Tiffany and Jon came to town to wrap up some details and to have an engagement session with me. We started in the Pearl District and wandered over to Union Station for a low profile stab at getting them over the jitters… cameras have a way of making lots of people uncomfortable. If you add that to PDAs, the dreaded public displays of affection, it can take a while to relax. By the time we had gotten up to the Pittock Mansion, the light and the comfort level had both improved. Even though this portrait on the stairs is wonderfully quiet, we spent a lot of time laughing… these two are a great fit and I am looking forward to their August wedding!
On a side note, I always discuss clothing with my clients ahead of any engagement session… a blended or complimentary color palette is a good start. I am not interested in having people match so much as I don’t want their colors to clash or to take away from the faces. Polka dots and awning stripes will never be a good combo. I did get to tease Jon a little about his white shoes… notice how they really pop in the portrait on the right? I’d have asked him for a darker shoe or sandal if I had known. ;0)
Getting married? Let’s take the camera out for a spin and see how much fun it can be!
A sunny Saturday in June found Hannah and Sham exchanging rings on the roof of the Ecotrust… the tricky part was that he had spent the morning at a rock gym and his knuckles were swollen. When I went to watch them sign their Katubah, Sham was soaking his left hand in a bowl of ice water. Rabbi Kominsky was smiling during Hannah’s gentle attempt and we all watched Sham work it into place. The rabbi then went on to tell the crowd what had happened to this groom’s hand… a slight chiding in his voice. ;0)
A little advice from this photographer for all of you… consider the activities that you plan for the days before your wedding. I have had brides in tears with sunburns that will never match the lines of their dress. There have been spider bites and poison oak, nasty bruises and all sorts of minor miseries… and things like broken arms and legs, not so minor, but most of them could have been avoided by thinking a little bit about the possibilities. Take it easy and plan the physical risks for after the wedding if you can. I know that there are a lot of ways to reduce the stress but if it involves messing you up, think twice. Rest, massage, and hydration are the best things to do in the week before… you will feel better and the photographs will reflect that.
Exchanging rings should be one of the easy parts, don’t you think?
Hiring professionals will make your life easier, too. ;0)
A classic portrait will stand the test of time as will the best relationships. Robert and Christopher were able to officially put rings on their 24 years together last Saturday in a bright, breezy wedding ceremony on the roof deck of the new Eastside Exchange. They had the first wedding to be celebrated there, splitting it between the sunny roof and the well designed ballroom a couple of floors below. When the cocktail hour was winding down, I kept them back for a few minutes of private portraits. Since the roof deck is wide open to the sky, the perfect backdrop was the side of the elevator shaft… it gave us a good balance of light and dark for a simple, classic portrait.
The Eastside Exchange is a sweet new venue at the east end of the Burnside Bridge… the views of Portland’s waterfront and skyline are wonderful! Vibrant Table’s Kurt Beadell is the man behind the curtain in this new venue so you can bet the events will run like clockwork and the food is always stellar.
I love that my job is in a different place every day!
Time to dress up? Might be just the time to do a Google search for the tricky bits. Hannah had a long, gorgeous teal sash to go with her wedding dress and after a few failed attempts, her mom went online to google the process… a few minutes later, they were able to finish the sash and fine tune the bow in the back. Aria offers a few sash styles to choose from.
I ran into this same situation a few years back with a group of groomsmen… a bow-tie can be a pretty foreign concept these days and a Google search offers several really good guides for working with just about any style of tie. The Art of Manliness is a good place to start for various dressing tips.
Personally, I think you should do the homework ahead of the wedding day so that you can avoid that sinking feeling as you realize that time is running short. ;0)
Get dressed and have fun!
For me, road test is my description for taking a new camera or lens out into the world to see how it performs. It is the second step if you count the first step being the one where I shoot around my house in an utterly familiar environment. In the road test I try for something brand new… something I can’t predict too well.
The new camera is a Lumix GH4 by Panasonic… a snappy little camera with a lot of muscle under the hood. So far, I am very, very pleased. Yesterday found me at Fort Vancouver for the first time. I have been on Officer’s Row a gazillion times but never had a chance to go into the fort. This image was taken in the blacksmith’s shop in natural light and I couldn’t be more pleased. The only caveat here is that Adobe doesn’t support RAW files for this camera yet… the workaround for now is to shoot RAW + large JPGs and save the RAW files for later. That means that as nice as this version looks, I can’t wait to get my hands on the RAW file and see how it flies!
My unending thanks to Mark Toal, the Panasonic rep who has given me so much of his time and information… I have been looking for something small and fresh for a few years and he suggested I look at this line.
Ultimately, this little camera is going to take me places I want to explore… sure, I could pack my Nikon bag but sometimes it seems like too much to carry… like it’s too much work. Since play is what I’m after, I may extend the road test for awhile. ;0)
Mixed metal wedding rings have been working their way into the mainstream for a couple of years and I am very happy to see it. For so long, rings and cakes were pretty predictable… to see them take off in many design directions makes this photographer happy. The Knot has an article about choosing your wedding rings and then I found this article about mixed metal jewelry… both are worth the read if you are about to start your shopping.
When I got to Hannah’s mother’s condo for the getting ready pictures, I started with the ring shots that she had requested… I did a few in a beautiful ceramic bowl but then I turned around and saw a great metal sculpture on the wall. No contest! Oddly enough, mixed metals were laced all through our Seattle engagement session last April. All of our locations had fabulous metal sculptures and walls to use as context for their portraits.
On a separate note, this was taken with a mix of camera bits… I recently bought the newest Panasonic mirrorless camera. With an adaptor, I am able to use my older Nikon macro… it was a treat to play at a different level last Saturday and I believe it is part of what keeps me fresh. ;0)
I sure would like to talk to you if you are planning a wedding… there is a lot to consider.
That moment in the mirror when you are becoming Bride… the blue jeans are on the floor, the jewelry and the veil are in place, that’s the moment it really starts to register. You may have been thinking about this for a very long time but until you are face to face with that mirror, the impact will turn you around to marvel, with your friends and your mom, that the wedding day is on.
Many brides will ask if getting ready pictures are necessary and I always tell them that this part is. It’s one of the high points of the day… I don’t know that it’s all that important to be underfoot during the hair and makeup but this particular part of the getting ready pictures is pretty darn sweet. This article talks about many of the things you might consider important for the getting ready pictures… it will certainly be a little different from bride to bride but the gist is that you ought to consider what YOU want and talk to your photographer accordingly.
Come talk to me… I’d be happy to tell you what I know. ;0)
Delighted is the very best description! The wedding day has finally arrived and sheer delight has replaced the aggravation of all that planning. For Madeline and Lee, the world kept spinning around them as they had their first look… giddy is a good word to go with delighted. They had a chance to flirt and kiss and twirl the dress in relative privacy… things you can’t do if your first look is at the alter.
We were at the Mt. Tabor amphitheater on this beautiful day… Jill, of Starflower, was hanging rose balls on the stage where the musicians were setting up. The flower girl was running in the grass, her long blonde curls topped by a gorgeous wreath of roses… Molli, of Soiree, was manning the clip board and making sure all the pieces were coming together.
For all of you planning a wedding, I think the best advice you can take is to hire your vendors carefully… the professionals will do what they know how to do and will work with everyone else to make it a great team effort. You and your beloved should be able to dance into your day knowing that you have done the planning and handed it over to the people who will make it happen.
Me? I was delighted to be a part of this… I was privileged to watch this marriage begin and I know that the pictures are real and true because Madeline and Lee are real and true. ;0)