Anna and her wife, Elizabeth, came to pick up their wedding album today. The cover, a rich teal blue leather, will really fit in with their art filled house. These two worked closely with me to plan their book… the hardest part was the choosing of the images to use. From there, the layouts went through a few revisions before we were all satisfied. As they opened the album, I was very pleased to see the reactions across my table. In a much earlier meeting, I remember them saying that even though the images look nice on a computer screen, it’s not the same as sitting next to your love on a comfortable couch… turning the pages together.
Some photographers do everything for you in the design process. They choose the images and put it all together and serve it up… maybe not super personal but easy and ready to go. I’m sure that can be a good thing in many ways but I prefer to tailor the album to fit my couples. I’m always pleasantly surprised to see that some of my quirkier shots were included… images that really caught something emotionally true in their crowd. If a wedding album can make you laugh and cry and remember wonderful things, then I have done a good job.
This couple was groovin’ from a seated position… the baby, almost due, probably enjoyed the dance! ;0)
“Grandma’s coffee table!” was the immediate response when I asked Elizabeth if there was something special to shoot these great mixed metal wedding rings on. I was thrilled that she and Anna had a true connection to this old and artsy table… they wanted something very personal instead of the very glamorous sort of ring pictures that a lot of people seem to like.
Their house in Eugene was a delight… art and textures and pops of color everywhere. Grandma’s coffee table fit right in. It was obvious that these two women shared a refreshing esthetic. It also answered my venue curiosity… they got married at Ninkasi Brewing Company and then we walked to the Falling Sky Pourhouse and Deli for an astounding variety of foods presented with beer pairings. The deli is a favorite place for them and they wanted to share it with their people. All in all, this day was deeply personal and that was exactly what they had in mind.
I always ask about the ring pictures so that I have time to do them properly. That’s when I try to get a feel for what sort of background or mood they might like. If you want a Hollywood glamour sort of thing or if you want your rings presented on the gears of your favorite bicycle, let your photographer know. ;0)
1987 was a good year for getting out with my camera. I had taken the gigantic step of giving up my day job at Jake’s Famous Crawfish to make photography a full time thing. I knew it would take some doing to get it going but the transition also gave me new chances to work on my own art. My photographer friend, Don Hamilton, suggested that we head out one afternoon and we found ourselves in an old warehouse on the west end of the Burnside Bridge. It had always caught me because the windows were full of mannequins… piles of them. Inside was a jumble of light and limbs. Some were old, some new… some oddly staged and some, very obviously forgotten. Don and I spent a couple of dusty hours there… lots of film got used that day but this one has been a favorite for a long time. Last I heard, the mannequins were moved to a property in Linnton but I have yet to find it… maybe I should stop and ask sometime.
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)
About 4 years ago, Opera Boy and I drove to Neskowin very early in the morning… we had a date with an unusually low minus-tide. An old forest that is usually submerged had made itself visible on the beach and word had gotten out. It was interesting and gratifying to see the number of people who made the trek to see it… knowing it would not happen often.
I chose to shoot it with one of my pinhole cameras… the image seems to translate more into a soft history than something sharp and clear. A history of trees turned to ghosts.
Venice. This time in the beginning of February, 2007. (I try to word it in such a fashion that by some happy chance, I’ll get to go again someday.) Opera Boy and I were there for four fog cloaked days this trip… a much different city than in the Spring. Funny that both arrivals and departures were on sunny days. We had come in on the midnight train from Paris… twelve hours of rocketing through a dark landscape I’d liked to have seen. The first sight of Venice is one I have not photographed yet… it is a place where all of the land vehicles stop and all of the water starts. So far, it brings me to my visual knees and I am consumed just being there. Next time I will collect myself and make a point of catching that amazing transition. Our first chore this trip was to find our hotel and a laundromat.
The fog settled in and we spent the next couple of days wandering at will.
This day brought me a blister, a few small pieces of local pottery and three glass cherries each for me and my sister. Best of all, it gave me new vistas at every turn… a veritable treasure box of images.
The Straw Bridge, the lower one with the crowd on it is pretty much what the whole city is like. Tourism is huge here and probably not a little abusive. I came away from both trips with a sense of wanting to help preserve this special place. If you go, treat her gently.
There are some fine and wonderful florists in our fair city but I am always drawn to the art of Francoise Weeks. She seems to have an infinite connection to her own wide universe and a capacity for the translation of it. If you can give her an idea or two about what you like, she can bring intricate miracles to the table. All it takes is a little time and some trust in her many talents.
These two arrangements are enhanced a bit by the dirt under the fingernails of the older and the band-aid of the younger… still, charm abounds! I love flower girls!
Let me know if I can help you find the vendors of your dreams, ok?
Frankie pretty much runs the house. He certainly tries to run my office as well. Part of his job description as Office Manager is to exercise me. I have to get out of my chair at regular intervals to feed him cat crackers. We also have an aerobic routine involving mopping the floor every other day because the muddy footprints are becoming dimensional.The Stand in Front of the Monitor pose is the cracker request mostly, although he will use it to ask me to get off of the phone, too.
The other day, I rearranged some of my shelving so that I could put my external hard drives in a less cat accessible space… Frankie decided that he had a better use for one of the empty cubbies.
I have since taken that space back but you can bet there is a new mutiny brewing in his furry brain.
I come to every wedding ready to document the entire day… the things requested and the many pieces I see that make the story. The random parts that appear in front of my camera, the ones that make my senses sing, are the ones I live for.
This little procession up from the damp beach in Gearhart… ecstatic mom on the rise and the Oregon Symphony guy waiting for the couple and their furry companion to pass… I couldn’t have planned this in any way… just have to track it through the eyepiece. It is a very favorite image of mine and I can’t imagine the day without it.
“Keep a third eye watching behind you. You never know when you’re making a memory… they will wish they were here together again someday…”
This warm afternoon wedding was a completely homespun affair… all of it played out in their yard and nearby neighborhood. Vibrant Table took care of the set up and catering… fabulous food and flowers, as always, but the scope was very comfortable and personal. There was no pretense here… the afternoon played into the soft late light with real people and sweet exchanges… I love these days. As a photographer, I can count on good images when everyone is relaxed and the time sort of spins by without too much of a written schedule. ;0)
This park, this ball field is right down the street from their great old house. I think they will live there a long time and they will remember the brass band playing Beatles’ tunes in their front yard as they walked out from under the tree where they said their vows.
Years will go by… someone will chance on this picture and there will be a recognition and a sweet smile.