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!
Imagine inventing your wedding as you run through the hills of Portland! That’s exactly what Jen and Mike did and it was a very special celebration. Every day that they run, they take the tram up from the South waterfront near their home and connect with the trail at the top. As the summer evolved, they kept me in the loop, adding bits of their story to our photo plans. On the big day, I walked with the ladies to the tram and we rode up in excited secrecy… he wouldn’t see her until she walked down the aisle. Getting off the tram, we could see the ceremony site below on the beautiful deck at OHSU. Her brother proudly walked her down the stairs and up through the smiling crowd to Mike. Imagine Mt. Hood in the smokey distance and the whole city going on about it’s normal affairs while these two, high on the hill, promised each other forever.
Later this year, they will go to Paris for their honeymoon… I imagine them up in the Eiffel Tower remembering this day. ;0)
Love rules at any age. All the sweeter to find it later in your life… all the more wonderful to find it in a best friend. These two, their friendship goes way back… you could tell by listening to the toasts from people they have known since school. I got a real sense of their younger selves that night. I believe that the inner person ages much differently than the outer parts and I think it takes a long time for some younger people to “get” that. What I see in most older couples is a much clearer sense of self and a true trust in each other.
Kat and Roger called me about two weeks before they were to be married… since they live in the Virgin Islands, there was a shifting set of plans and it finally settled in at the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Instead of using the bridge, where countless ceremonies take place, they chose the beautiful Scholar’s Courtyard for their intimate crowd. It was just right!
Love is sweet in front of my camera… come see me, ok?
Pie was served at Castaway on one of the last nights of Summer… the part of Summer when school hasn’t started yet and it’s still light pretty late. We can tell it’s winding down, though. That didn’t faze anyone at the wedding of Kate and Ian. The crowd was chock full of friends and family and I am always pleased to see people participating fully. When dinner was done, the ice cream was set out on a table full of pies… all sorts of pies. Initially, Kate had said she didn’t think they were going to do a “Pie Cutting” sort of thing but when the time came for dessert, Ian pulled her into a cutting… making sure to keep one of the hearts intact as he cut a piece to share. These two are perfect for each other!
On this lovely evening, my thanks to a Dream Team of vendors… it was such a smooth and classy event! I’d work with these talents again in a heartbeat.
Pies by Pacific Pie Company
Creations by Ly crafted the look and served as the event planner… my first chance to work with Nadia and her team and I was impressed… a great blend of talent and calm efficiency.
Devil’s Food Catering put on a nice spread with a Southern flavor running through it… always good!
And last, my friend, Steve Sharp served as the officiant… I met him a while back and have been waiting to work with him. Kind, patient and very real… just the sort of person you’d like to hand you into your married life.
Come see about me if you are planning a wedding… there is a lot to talk about. ;0)
There was a tiny marriage in the tiny town of Manzanita last Saturday. Most of Portland was on the beautiful beaches of Oregon this weekend but we only added 7 and a half people to the crowds. Vivian, the littlest of the group, is only two years old so she counts as a “half”, right?
Lisa and Hub walked down to the sands of Manzanita with their closest friends… people that go way back in their lives. This section of beach was a few blocks down from the main drag and it was wonderfully quiet. They stood in a little semicircle on this sunny day with a very brisk, cold wind at their backs. The vows were short and straight from the heart, the rings exchanged and then they were pronounced by one of Lisa’s best friends. As soon as the pronouncement was made, there were whoops and hollering and dancing in the sand by all. Vivian looked on in amazement. ;0)
Then there was champagne and laughing back at the beach house while we waited for the sun to slip down a little more. The newlyweds came back to the beach with me for a few more portraits in the sweet light while the friends pulled the dinner together. When I left, there was BBQ and music and drinks to be shared and I can still hear Lisa’s fabulous laugh.
As a seasoned pro, I get plenty of the big weddings… the ones with all of the rules and expectations. They are certainly the majority. These little ones, though, bring such a sense of sweet inclusion. It is a true pleasure to be a part of a day like this. A wedding doesn’t have to be big to catch the heart!
Let me know if you’d like to talk about getting married, ok?