Monthly Archives: May 2019

A Life of Sliding Doors

Most everyone of a certain age has accumulated a set of sliding doors. If I’m not mistaken, every photograph you share is a door into another you.

Originally a wedding client, Jim has hired me a few times over the years. We’ve done family pictures when his kids were little, and there were business headshots, but my favorite session was a lifestyle shoot. He was on the edge of many new chapters in his life and happy. He was in tip-top shape and moving forward into a new relationship. His reasoning for having new portraits was sound. He wanted to catch some of the good years. I wish more people would consider it.

Every day, I hear people wishing they’d had really good pictures from certain times in their lives. We all know you can’t go back. Say you have a great five year stretch where life is just humming along and you feel really right in your world… maybe that’s a good reason to have a portrait done. It’s a keepsake for you, certainly, but it’s also a trophy for a future time… something to share with your kids in your somewhat older years… a truth.

Jim and I talked about what he wanted to do… with a little planning it turned into about a four hour stroll around Portland. We started at the rock gym in John’s Landing and, after a change of clothes, we walked the East Bank Esplanade for portraits… some for business and some for pleasure. The balance of the afternoon was wandering in the Pearl District settling briefly here and there where structure and light came together. All this in the name of serendipity and the luxury of time… this was not a rushed or over orchestrated shoot and that’s the best kind.

Anticipation Rules the Day

Anticipation is a mix of so many things. Nerves, certainly, but also joy, a little bit of slo-mo and some butterflies in your belly. I can feel it from where I stand. The bride is staying out of sight as the others are watching the guests arrive, their conversation light and intimate.

It’s a dusty August day at Camp Colton, a place of many tall trees… birds and chipmunks live there. This little space is set aside from the main event cabin, a quiet place for the women to get ready. I’m standing in the back of the room watching the light play on all of the parts of the scene, knowing it will be a moment maybe forgotten later. There are lots of big parts in a wedding day but it’s the little bits that enrich the history. I push the shutter button quietly so as not to break the spell.

I’m never sure if the players are aware of what’s ahead on a day like this. The general format is similar but each one has it’s own special arc of emotions. The entire crowd will play their parts and her own butterflies will calm as the daylight fades into the party. For now, walking through that sunlit door, she is about to join him in an entirely new journey. Sure, it starts with a wedding but a marriage is what is being born here.