That first dance can be absolutely terrifying for most people. It doesn’t matter how much you have practiced in your living room… reality sets in when you have so many friends watching. And you both know it’s not cool to count out loud and look at each other’s feet.
I like the people whose first dance is a “What the hell, let’s just go for it!” kind of dance. There is always laughing and smiling between them because it really is just about the two of them… and that is what makes for compelling pictures.
Elena and Leigh have been a favorite couple in my long career… they have such an intensely special relationship. They have been in front of my cameras for several important parts of their lives and I am glad to have them in my circle of friends. Engagement to wedding to belly to baby to entire family… seems like we have a grand rhythm in our history so far… I love that I get to see them grow up a little every year.
The rooftop of the Ecotrust is a pretty great space for weddings if you can pick the cooler parts of the season… or if you want a whole lot of sunshine. ;0)
Twister in Alexandria… sounds like a bad weather headline on the East Coast doesn’t it? Well, it wasn’t. Chris and Jen decided to offer an evening of board games instead of the usual dancing… it suited them to a T. After dinner, the guests came back to the parlor where the ceremony had taken place and found that the room had been turned into small groupings of table and chairs amid the couches. They could sit and chat or they could pick from a huge variety of games to play. Between the parlor and the bar was the only really open floor space for the Twister board and it was barely big enough for 4 to play… Chris and young Owen got aced out by Jen and the Kilt Guy… not sure who eventually carried the day. Photographically, the angle was getting a little too dangerous. ;0)
An unexpected lens flare set this image apart… it seemed to fit this couple so well! They dance in their real life so dancing a little after they had their first look was natural for them… I think this was to be sure her long dress wouldn’t interfere with their footwork. ;0)
I told Madeline and Lee that I would be shooting snippets of their wedding with a Lensbaby and that we could expect some interesting things to come of it. It’s a wonderful little optic that bends the light and the focal plane. I have been using it on and off since 2004 and I like the unexpected nuances… it makes me see differently. In this case, I saw the lens flare come and go but didn’t note the rainbow effect until much later… what a pleasant surprise!
Plan your wedding carefully but be open to the possibilities, you’ll be glad you did.
Last Saturday brought us to a bright, breezy wedding at a sunny farm in Newberg… high in the hills on our first truly hot summer day this year. We had to do some dancing around our original schedule to accommodate the flavor of the light. There was no place to go until after dinner… that’s when the sun had gotten low enough to give us this lovely light for the softer portraits. What I like is that Betsy and Rob trusted me to make it work. We slipped out between dinner and the toasts… we only needed these 10 minutes but we couldn’t have had them at any other point in the day.
Keep your plans flexible if you can, you won’t regret it!
In our first meeting, Betsy made it clear that she wasn’t looking for the typical detail shots… no shoes or jewelry fluff for her. When I got to the hotel, she very carefully arranged her beloved sports watch on a vase of lilacs for a shot… then she put it in the pocket of her marvelous dress.
Betsy and Alex made the old fashioned choice to not see other before the ceremony… it required a little fancy dancing to keep them from running into each other at the Art Museum but we had the ever talented Molli of Bon Soiree keeping tabs on them. These two hired a veritable dream team of vendors and it made for a great run… Vibrant Table staged the room and catered a great meal. Page, also of Vibrant Table, designed the lovely floating tulips. Eric Wright, Portland’s consummate music man, had the dance floor jammed and jumping all night! It just goes to show you that hiring the professionals is worth every penny.
Well… not totally unexpected. Madeline and Lee knew the dress would be there, though only for the dancing. Her mom was blown away when Madeline changed out of her long slinky gown, mid reception, into this snappy little number from so long ago. In fact, when she had it altered they found some rice in the hem. Imagine that rice just hanging out over the years, waiting for the daughter to grow up and decide to wear the dress… how cool is that?!
Mom’s dress was great for dancing and Madeline owned it… just like she did the entire day. What a great time we had!
Take your wedding for the ride of your life… hire the right people, live happily ever after.
Where to start? Tricia and Dave came to Portland from sunny Palm Desert to get married in our beautiful Lan Su Gardens. Tricia came into the day like a house afire… she wanted to go to as many Portland spots for pictures as possible. Given the window of time we had, she scaled it back to some interesting spaces that we could walk to on the way from The Nines to the Garden. We stumbled across The 24 Hour Church of Elvis… for 50¢ you can get married there… you just have to push all of the right bright buttons and answer the many questions on the screen. It was a lot of fun to watch! From there to the Chinatown Gate and on to Voodoo Donuts and The Paris Theatre… honestly, it was a marvelous carnival mix… we all came away smiling. As we walked, a pedicab driver offered us a free ride for the remaining two blocks… all of this was just the beginning of a great celebration.
Luckily, the rain held mostly until the end of the ceremony and the rabbi didn’t seem to mind that they were already married in the eyes of Elvis.
A lot of credit for this day goes to the vendors… they made it work even when the skies opened…
Dave made an interesting contribution… he designed four Saketinis for the party… the reviews were good! Vibrant Table ran the show and fed everyone a lot of really great food. Page Winograd also of Vibrant Table, did her floral magic, even incorporating some of the family’s antique fans. Finales made a series of delicious cakes… inspired by henna tattoos. Takohachi Taiko entertained the diners with a fascinating drum ensemble. Swingline Cubs got everyone up and dancing. Continue reading →