There is something about an old barn on a sunny Oregon day… something very right. We had just finished the larger wedding party pictures and sent the men and women in to freshen up before the ceremony. Meanwhile, Liz and Josh wanted a couple of shots taken with their Maid of Honor and the Best Man… the barn was the perfect choice for this since we were out of the way of arriving guests. This barn has been in the family for ages… both Josh and his brother have grown up here and I like that it is a family member in a sense.
I kept the couple back for a few portraits here knowing that the ceremony was the next big thing ahead… we made some beautiful images in a short amount of time. Lucky that we did because the other 15 minutes that we had planned for afterwards didn’t happen… sometimes it’s just too important to be with the guests who have come so far to see you.
One of the things I try for in every wedding is to have two short sessions carved into the time line for portraits of just the bride and her groom… they don’t have to be complicated and we really don’t need more than about 15 minutes per session. If the light is right and the timing works, you can get a lot done. If you don’t take the time, you miss out on one of the most important parts of the day… the whole reason you are getting married is to be that couple. Special pictures of the two of you that should last you a lifetime.
I hope you will consider talking to me about your wedding, even if you don’t have a barn. ;0)
Once upon a time there was a beautiful historic home in Corbett, near Crown Point. The Viewpoint Inn was built in 1924 and survived it’s spot overlooking the Gorge until the summer of 2011 when it was ravaged by fire. It’s a long and hard story but it sounds like it might actually rise from the ashes. If the owner can make that happen, he has a chance to put right some of the things that went so badly that summer. There were brides and grooms left high and dry… they were rescued by many of the neighboring venues and I remember it being a huge group effort in the wedding community… one that made me realize how much we can help each other when the need is there. By all accounts, the owner has had a long standing love affair with this place and will take it fully back to 1924… it will become a dream destination once more. I hope I get watch a few more couples get married on that lawn someday.
This image is from a few years back but counts as a favorite of mine… Leslie and Izaac had a few moments before the ceremony to sit in one of the upstairs rooms. A little sparkling water and some quiet conversation while they watched their quests arrive… such a peaceful start to a new chapter. ;0)
Let’s make a little history together, ok?
Meg and Trevor had one of the most memorable weddings in my career. Last minute changes took them from the Art Museum to a private vineyard outside of Dundee and it made a world of difference! I imagine the timing took a small toll on the planning but it came together as if it had been the original venue all along. Soiree was the engine driving the organization and all of the vendors were top notch… we even had two members of the Portland Opera in this impressive list.
Stoller Vineyard has a circle of trees and a flat area down the hill from the vines… on this August day, I arrived to find a very elegant dinner setting under a large tent… Francoise Weeks Florist was staging the tables with orchids and astounding woodland textures, Molli from Soiree had her team tasked with all sorts of little details… personalized place settings, a small table of grass to hold the seating assignment cards, golden bamboo chairs… little embellishments too numerous to count.
Meanwhile, in a different section, Vibrant Table was fashioning a feast… the grilled salmon was making everyone hungry. Across the checkered dance floor, Pepe and the Bottle Blonds were getting set up and near the ceremony site, the sounds of opera warming up… the lyrics were printed and hung over each chair for the guests to read.
I have to say it’s always been a favorite part of my day to watch as all of the pieces get stitched into one incredible weave… I get to photograph the parts and the process. The final cloth is so gorgeous!
Jenkins Estate is one of our local treasures and has been a sweet spot for weddings forever. Unlike some of the venues that drape themselves in wedding fluff, this is a lovely old summer home listed on the National Register of Historic Places… 68 acres of gently groomed gardens and walking paths surround the 1912 English hunting-lodge style of the main house. There is a stable, a carriage house and a tea house… all of them offer different moods for different seasons.The wrap around veranda on the main house is a great place to be on a summer day! As a photographer, I like that the place seems so away from everything. It’s on the edge of Beaverton but somehow seems a world away from the daily grind.
Gretchen and Jerrod shared a grand kiss in the tea house before the crowd lit into “All You Need is Love” on kazoos… a perfect Spring day!
Making plans of your own? I’d love to talk to you. ;0)
Back yard weddings get dismissed as not special enough… a lot of people think it means that you decided not to put forth the effort. Well, I have to disagree with that. I have had the pleasure of attending some of the most beautiful weddings in my career in stunning back yards. From large estates to tiny gardens, the effort involved to make a space lush and lovely usually out guns any hotel or regular venue that I have encountered. True, it requires a lot of advance planning… some yards are ready and some are not. New plantings, happy grass, careful consideration of table layout and dance floor placement… all of that comes into play. It is more work but the end result is much more personal. Always.
It helps to have a planner for these… Angela Orr was the woman who stepped in to pull this one together… she was great to work with… calm and collected and always where she was needed.
This lovely setting is in Estacada and if you look East, Mt. Hood is right there… the edge of the property goes down to the Clackamas River. It was quiet and clear that summer day and the grass was cool underfoot… pretty much a perfect day for a wedding!
Got a little time? Hang out and wander through the blog. Pretty soon, there will be a much needed update in the portfolio section of my site. I can’t wait to share it with you!
Photographically speaking, there are several important parts to every wedding… some parts that can be controlled and some that can’t. As a rule, I tell my clients that I will try to find an interesting space to frame them in and then let them loose… maybe some minor guidance if needed, right? Well, Cait and Matt started off in a sweet sort of embrace… something you’d expect of two people about to get married. Somewhere in their hug, they must have whispered this in agreement because with no warning, they went into a series of about 8 very high jumps… Cait got almost as much air in the first couple of leaps but I couldn’t pass up Matt’s sheer exuberance in this frame!
Laughing and flushed, we spent about a half an hour putting two very real lovers into the camera… these are portraits they will revisit for the rest of their lives. Years from now, they and their families will marvel that they were ever this young.
And that is my job. Short and sweet, the definition of a professional wedding photographer is to catch all of it… the posed and expected and the absolute joy of the unexpected.
I wouldn’t have missed this one for the world!
There were bridesmaids scattered all through this sunny little house… all of them in various stages of getting ready. In this room, Jac, the bride, was helping her flower girl check her fancy new hairdo before they got dressed. The transformation from girl next door to stunning bride comes at you pretty fast… it’s the best part of the getting ready pictures. Makeup and hair are already done, the dress is hanging nearby like a promise and the excitement is high. Jac slept in this little house down the road from the ceremony site the night before… she confessed that she had to move her dress where she couldn’t see it… she could not sleep in the same room with it. When her ladies were dressed, they all gathered in one of the bedrooms to help her into that dress… holding her breath, she turned to the mirror and the look on her face said it all… it was perfect!
The only minor glitch was that her flower girl really preferred her Crocs to the glittery pair of sandals… that took some sweet talking. ;0)
Come see me if you’d like to talk about your wedding plans… there are so many wonderful ways to go about it!
Weddings are always about new beginnings. No matter how long you may have been a couple, there will always be that shift in your perceptions. In truth, it will pull you closer and in the good marriages, you will become teammates in a way you never imagined.
As 2013 rolls to an end, I think back on all of the new couples celebrating their first married New Year… I imagine the fireworks will be a little brighter and the smiles a little broader. My advice would be to keep facing forward, holding hands… go at your lives together, always.
Happy New Year to all of you!
During dinner the children were free to chase the fading light… their faces painted at odds with their party clothes. Every wedding has some quiet moments for the camera and this was a chance to step back from the party and explore the beautiful property in the sweet light. In the background, the quiet hum of conversations and silverware… laughter and a little music… my job is to bring as much of that back for my couple as I can. Brides and grooms don’t always realize that there will be a wall of people between them and the plans they made… the details and the ambiance that are the result of so much careful planning. Professional photographers are capable of bringing all of that back in addition to the emotional moments and the family pictures. While it’s true that your best friend’s brother might be a good photographer, he may not have a clue what he is getting into on a wedding day… and you know that there aren’t any do-overs.
This gorgeous property, Ranch at the Canyons, is just on the west side of Smith Rock… an easy drive from Bend. That makes it local and destination. ;0)
We had a long, lovely day capped by the full moon rising over the red rocks… you’d be hard pressed to beat that.
If you were to start humming “The Sea of Love” as you looked at this picture, you’d start to feel the doo-wop swing of the hips and see the slow shuffle of the feet… and then you would start to smile. Well, you should have been in the room as this wedding party gave a surprise performance for the bride and groom… it was stellar!
Mariesa and Tyson chose Edgefield’s Blackberry Hall for their vintage wedding. Guests were invited to dress retro and and the turnout was perfect. Decorated with old books and seashells, the tables were full of friends in hats and gloves… dinner had been eaten and this great group brought the house down. When I turned around for the picture of the couple and the room around them, people were on their feet, cheering and clapping… I’m so glad I got to be in on it! There was no stopping the party that followed. ;0)
My advice to anyone getting married is to do it the way you want to do it… there really aren’t any rules except for the loving each other part, right?