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!
On that long Summer day at the McKenzie Oaks Ranch the guests had just gotten settled and the wedding party had already paraded by. The sweethearts were holding hands and smiling at everything.
It didn’t take long for the kid to find a more comfortable place… imagine the cool summer grass under your elbows. The shade of the huge oak keeps the sun out but the air is still warm and the wedding is on!
I wonder what the kid will remember from that summer day? I always hope people have special memories of days like this… I think good photographs help.
A huge thanks to the owners of this beautiful property… good people!
Home, your personal space, is a great place to have an engagement session. Sure, the trend is to go stand in a set of railroad tracks with a vintage suitcase but is that really you? Do you really want a headless portrait that shows off your socks? Instead, your home has that insanely cool lamp in the living room and that great rusty gate in the back yard… the one that the previous artist-owner built before you bought the house… before you made it your home.
No doubt, I repeat myself on this particular topic, but I think it’s important to keep a sense of your history alive in your photographs. Looking back through the family photos in my life I can see the homes we made, the cars we drove and the various dogs and cats we loved. None of that was faked or out of true… real life can be pretty cool.
Besides, walking on the railroad tracks is against the law and common sense. ;0)
Getting married? Ask me anything.
Curiosity is part of what makes a good photographer. Curiosity is what keeps a fresh eye to the camera… bored photographers don’t see as much. ;0)
This little catch at Castaway was a break in the long and hard part of the wedding day… the part of the day where you and your love have to stand in line for the formal group shots that history seems to require. I try very hard to help my clients build a list that works for them but one that doesn’t overwhelm the day… we make the list and we make the time to do it. But in between the lines of people standing in front of the camera are these little breaks where someone has to go get somebody else and the players in that group revert to their own bad selves for a few minutes. I saw them start to crowd in so I moved in for a closer look… ever curious. I love the look on Kevin’s face as Karri spots the flask!
What’s in your pocket today?
Cool is an attitude. Cool is a thing you can’t really fake. Mia and Melissa were both concerned about having a camera pointed at them… the nerves were quite visible at the beginning and flared occasionally throughout their wedding day. They got married at the Jupiter Hotel which is rife with interesting spaces… it isn’t your typical wedding venue but it was perfect for them.
As the day goes by, I can tell if I’m getting the good stuff but they have no way of knowing so it’s a matter of trust. The thing that worked in our favor was that these two were inherently cool in their own relationship… I didn’t see much cheesy behavior or out of character posing. Because of that, I was able to get a very real day out of them and that is what I am here to do.
If you are looking for good storytelling photography that is laced with interesting portraits, come see me, ok? ;0)
History is a fluid thing… we make it every day. Some of it will get saved for years and some of it will evaporate in a few hours. As a fairly recent invention, photographs have given us a way to look at history a little differently than other types of art. Photographs are personal and portable… you can pass them down to the generations to follow and hope that they continue to be shared.
In my head, I imagine the youngsters at this pool table, many years from now… old enough to have have grown kids and grandchildren of their own. Someone will pull out an old album or a beautiful box of special things and this photo will be in it. The kids will hear the story of the grand hotel in downtown Portland with the little library off of the huge lobby. Someone will say that the history of the hotel mentions that it used to be an iconic department store… that their Great Grandmother used to meet her friends for lunch at the Georgian Room on the 10th floor.
I don’t know about you but history is astounding and I like helping to keep some of it alive. ;0)
Happy New Year to everyone!
A few old school traditions are alive and well in today’s wedding world. Even as the bouquet toss and the garter are beginning to fade, there is still a late part of the evening where one of the old traditions lives on.
After the major festivities, you’ll notice a group of guys, sans jackets, head for a corner outside of the venue… they are as relaxed as they are going to be on this long day. It’s almost always the best man who hands out the cigars and he is usually prepared with a cutter and a lighter. The conversation is quiet and it always feels like the men are channeling their older selves as they offer a different sort of toast, a race well-run sort of congratulations to the groom.
Of course, the mood swings in a different direction when the women start to join in. The pictures change, too. ;0)
It’s a favorite part of my camera work even if it makes my nose itch!
A Time Capsule is pretty much what we were making for Madison last month… she is due to join her happy family in March. Lauren and Conor were originally going to have a little courthouse affair but decided to make it more special. His mom’s sweet little home was host to about 25 friends and family members… these are going to be the people in Madison’s young life and some into her adulthood, too. All of these people will be offered up in the photographs from that day… they will seem impossibly young by the time she is able to sort through them and that is the special part.
If you go back through the older photographs in your own family, you get a sense of where you came from and, it is, for all intents and purposes, a Time Capsule that someone has collected for you.
Happy to help you make some history for the next generation! ;0)
We live in the age of the Photo Booth and I, for one, think they are a gas!
I find myself circling the reception, looking for moments my clients will enjoy, like always, but if there is a Photo Booth, I tend to stalk it a little. Especially towards the later part of the party when people have loosened up.
The best Photo Booths are the set-ups against an open wall. The closed booths work just fine but the space limits the amount of goofiness possible.
This particular crowd is most of a great wedding party… just a super solid crowd of friends who helped run a fine party. The photos will be a true and special part of the memories from that day.
I love my job!!