Monthly Archives: April 2016

This is Why… Forever


The question that gets asked is “When should we do our family and wedding party photos?” The answer that you will hear from me is, do them ahead of the ceremony if you can… with very few exceptions it is the best route for a wedding day full of emotional truths.

Look at it this way, if all of the planned group photos are done beforehand, then you both get to enjoy your crowd fully and immediately… that makes them happy, too. ;0) Imagine the difference between that and having to disconnect for an hour of family shots!

How about the portraits of just the two of you, you ask? Spend some time with your people and, depending on the light, take a little time for some romantic portraits. You will be breathing again by then and relaxed enough to be in the moment for some very special images.

Just about every wedding has a timeline that will allow a couple of short sessions in sweet light… your photographer should line out the times that might work best for your particular day. Trust me… you won’t regret having made the effort. Years from now you will have those lovely pictures of the two of you… forever young and so very much in love.

One Ring


An older bride has decided she is not worried about following the rules. Not going to go by the magazine lists… certainly not into bling in the normal sense of the word. Trends come and go but if a wedding can be a personal thing, then trends don’t count unless you happen to like them in real life, right? She has seen some really creative ring styles and the freedom from the diamond life suits her. A silver band with a blue moonstone does the trick.
This piece was designed by Jan Gordon at the Real Mother Goose.

I got to photograph the ring without the pressure of the wedding day itself… the styling was something we had time to play with… highly recommended if you and your photographer can make it work. ;0)

So, one ring. It will be the engagement ring until the wedding day. That day, it will be given again as the only ring. He can’t wear a ring safely in his job so none for him… maybe after he retires instead. Maybe they renew their vows when that milestone is reached.

Meanwhile, they are planning an intimate celebration with the chosen family of friends… people so closely entwined in their lives… that’s the important part. The ring is just the icing on the cake.

A Toast at the Rhododendron Garden


Portland has an incredible rhododendron garden on the east side of town, near Reed College … it’s a quiet space unless you count the ducks and geese who frequent the waterways that wander through it. It was begun in 1950 so you can imagine how beautifully it has grown in all those years. It is called Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden and it is a popular spot for weddings, even when the rhodies aren’t in bloom. There are several garden spaces available depending on the size of your guest list so even little weddings look good here. ;0)

Alyssa and Fletcher had a gorgeous July afternoon in the meadow, friends and family relaxing into the shady spots… the incredible dinner behind them, it was time for toasting. Their good pals did the honors at the mic and the dads had their turn, too. Listening to the love going around is always good but my favorite part is when the couple takes the stand to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone there. If you are getting married, I hope you will put some thought into this part of the day… it is a good chance to say something truly special to the people you care about the most. Besides, when this part is done, you get to cut the cake and start dancing, right?

Another Roadside Attraction


Once upon a time there was a shop on the right side of the high road to Taos in the lovely land of New Mexico. A Roadside Attraction? Maybe not for everyone but it’s part of a photographer’s mind set… if it’s interesting, stop the car, right? Lucky, I guess, that most of the people I travel with are like minded. ;0)

Well, in 1996, this little shop was owned by a quiet man… a man nice enough to take the time for a conversation and a permission to take this picture. Right on the busy road, he seemed able to relax into the dusty light and show us around. Inside, the room was cool and dusky, full of various and beautiful bones… so many shapes. There was a bear skull and there were incredible snake skeletons. Anyone who knows me already understands the draw… been collecting bones and rocks since forever.

I scanned the old negative yesterday and have tried to make it right. The shop was empty last September when Opera Boy and I stopped. Santa Fe has a huge chunk of my heart even though I don’t get to go often anymore but I always thought I’d see this shop again. Stop while you can… Roadside Attractions may not be there the next time you swing through.

A Paradise for August Weddings


Oregon is a paradise for August weddings… it’s a golden time of year, here. In central Oregon, it is doubly so.

Amanda and Hansford got married at the Crag Rat Hut just outside of Parkdale. It’s not a fancy place but it has a very cool vibe dating from the 1920’s and is perfect for any adventurous outdoor types. These two had a close set of family and friends join them for the afternoon and Mt. Hood was right there to enjoy their party, too. We watched the light changing on the mountain all through the day… it made for a very elegant backdrop.

In August weddings, the best light is a little after dinner so we trekked down the hill after a grand feast and after pie… a great excuse to stretch a bit after all that food. In the process we took about 20 minutes of sweet portraits in that golden light and they got to have a little time to themselves out of my earshot. I think it’s pretty important that all couples get a little time out of the crowd and out of my hearing to just marvel at the day… it’s a very sweet and personal time.

Maybe it’s the lemur in me for posting this on a chilly Spring day but I wouldn’t have missed this one for the world!