Two days ago, Emily and James and good-dog Davey motored to the quiet beach at Gearhart to spend a little time in front of my camera. Since they are getting married in a few weeks at Gray Gables, we went for something a little more organic for an engagement session. It seems like the summer has flown by since we met… we didn’t expect it to follow us to the beach but it did… what a glorious day! Davey agreed with a resounding High Five before he went off to check out the poodles near the surf line.
Is this a great job or what? ;0)
At the end of May, I ran a similar post from this wedding. It was also taken on the MAX station platform… at the time, I thought I liked it better. Turns out that this one suits me best. Mary Beth and Patrick wanted to do some of their wedding portraits with the train running in the background so we did several as the the train pulled in… then, as we were congratulating ourselves for getting what we wanted, we heard a second train coming into the other side! We raced around to catch that one and I got to see it differently… the kiss becomes the thing and the train plays the dramatic background… much better.
It never fails, the Dress is a mystery to the men… a very charming discovery on the wedding day. I think many a man gets measured by the amount of help he offers to his bride as she navigates a very different reality from her every-day with him. Just about every dress has a carrying loop and a bustle so that you can actually walk around without too much hassle. But, nine times out of ten, you say bustle to a groom and he goes pleasantly blank… never imagining the engineering that is required to pull off the difference between the aisle and the dance floor.
Needless to say, in the tall grasses around the Honeymoon House at McKenzie Oaks Ranch, Liz needed to pick up her skirts to keep the twigs from accumulating… Josh is handy to help her find the loop designed to keep the skirts up… such a true gentleman all day… a keeper in the very best sense of the word.
My tip to all of you is to get acquainted with how your dress is designed ahead of time… plan on cutting out the hanger straps if it’s strapless, find your loop and practice the darn bustle once or twice so that you don’t spend too much time when your party is rolling, ok?
Like this? I am at your service. ;0)
Remember when you could climb a tree in a dress and kick off your red shoes? I do. Not that my family attended a bunch of weddings when I was a kid but the whole option of having a different vantage point than the grown-ups… it is a very special privilege. At some point they expect you to settle back to earth and behave accordingly. For the lucky summers you have, you should play it to the hilt and the parental types should let you fly as safely as they can.
This was during the cocktail hour between the ceremony and sitting down to dinner… usually it is where guests get to mingle and say hello to the bride and groom… a very nice break between parts of the day where you are expected to sit up straight and behave a certain way. ;0)
I love my job… if you would like to talk about getting married like real people, let me know… I have lots of input if you need it.
Sometimes the dress is hanging on the edge of a cluttered closet… sometimes it’s still in the bag, like a surprise. This dress was hanging from the loft railing in the guest house. The breeze moved it some and the veil hung down behind. Liz and her girlfriends were busy in the getting ready part of the day… makeup and hair, flower questions and a last minute music list for her DJ. Every now and then, I noticed that she would stop and look up at this dress, this dream she was about to step into. This caterpillar-to-butterfly part of the day… this silk dream.
You may remember from a few posts ago that Liz was casting about at the last minute for a good make-up artist… someone she could be herself with. I sent her a few names but listed Katherine Ross as my favorite and available artist… they clicked and the end result was a fabulous look for this very real woman.
Once the dress was fastened and she had her boots pulled on, the woman looking back from the mirror was quiet and calm for a moment… ready to get married.
Liz turned to me during the portraits, later, and marveled at how much more at ease she was for the camera this time… she trusted the way she looked and it made all the difference in the world. Trust is a good thing. ;0)
At our first meeting, Amanda and Hansford stressed that theirs would be a “grown-up” wedding… they weren’t looking to get all involved in a fantasy experience. To that end, they invited 30 favorite people to a great wedding in Hood River. The Crag Rat’s Hut is an unadorned but comfortable space overlooking the orchards around the southern flanks of Mt. Hood. While the kids were out collecting wild turkey feathers in the late light, there was laughing paired with fine wine, tasty salmon and incredible pie.
I stole them away for a few private minutes down the hill… I think it might have been a fairy tale wedding after all. Easily one of my favorite couples ever!
The supporting cast was excellent, if you are looking for good people in the Gorge, this is a great place to start:
Cork and Bottle Catering
Pauline’s Country Fresh Pies
Lucy’s Flowers in Hood River
I am happy to travel, of course. ;0)
This day was pulled together seamlessly by the incomparable Kara Markovich at Ella Events… what a wonderful time!
Since I don’t bring a recipe to any wedding I have to admit that I am somewhat open to the whims of my clients as they whip by… I am not the photographer who will ask you to jump or have your groomsmen hold you horizontally. On the other hand, if it’s what you really want, then I will give it my all… this work will live in your house over the years, not mine, and it should be something you like.
Chris had an idea or two for the wedding party at the end of our session at The Grotto and when we got to that point, I was intrigued… it was graphically interesting. As always, I’d like to have had a little more time without the inevitable other cameras but I think we made a little bit of art in that space. Not bad, all things considered. ;0)
Sometimes the first look needs to be completely private… sometimes even the photographer should step out of the circle. When we sat down for a details meeting a couple of weeks before the wedding, there was a mom who really wanted to see the two meet for the first time. I asked them how they felt about that and reminded them that it would the last time before absolutely everyone landed in their lap for the rest of the day. Josh turned to Liz and said he’d really like to just see her… the look on his face told me everything I needed to know. When it was time, I picked up the long lens and worked from the background, with mom and the bridal party.
Come work with me… we can make a very special set of images to last you a lifetime.
Last Saturday, we had some brutal heat in the Pacific Northwest… I am hoping that it is not what these two will remember about that day. When I get through all of the post production for their wedding I believe that they will see the family ranch full of all the special people who gathered to see them wed. Liz and Josh are tailor made for each other and the people who came all seemed to know that.
This, their first dance, was done before dinner… a very classy departure from waiting until after the meal and the cake. I am personally glad that they danced early because the light, as you can tell, was absolute perfection.
I promise to post more from this very special day as time allows… stay tuned. ;0)
Beware because he will steal the show! There are plenty of kids who have squirmed uncomfortably through the assignment of ring bearer… I don’t often see it as a coveted role. This young man stepped up with such a flourish that hands flew up and laughter rang all through the crowd… it was a perfect break in a solemn ceremony. I should also mention that he wore a fuzzy bear hat, complete with ears, even on this warm July afternoon. ;0)
All in all, a fine day on a blueberry farm with friends and family… homespun with a great deal of love and support.