Tag Archives: history

What Will You Remember About your Mother?

Mother’s Day is fast upon us… are you ready? It’s not like you have to do much beyond finding a nice card and taking your mom to a good brunch or a nice dinner. Even those things were kind of pushed by the card companies and it all turned into a holiday on everyone’s calendars. At it’s best, it’s a day to actively celebrate someone you love.
Over the years, I have been privileged to do several portraits of moms and kids and it always makes me think of how, years from now, those moms will look at the photographs and see time. The kids won’t appreciate that sense of time until they are much older and then they will understand how much history and time are intertwined.

Most of my childhood memories are of a working mom and a lot of the pictures reflect that. One of the very early photos, though, is one that catches my heart every time. Bath time on the kitchen floor… I love her wide open smile, her glee in this chore so evident!

On Mother’s Day, my mom liked getting homemade coupons for jelly donuts from a favorite bakery… back then, I was able to set up a deal with said bakery by prepaying…I was 12 or so. I don’t think gift cards were a thing yet. ;0)

Make pictures of the real parts of your life… you don’t always have to be perfectly dressed and posed, ok?
Let me know if I can help. ;0)

Curiosity at Castaway


Curiosity is part of what makes a good photographer. Curiosity is what keeps a fresh eye to the camera… bored photographers don’t see as much. ;0)

This little catch at Castaway was a break in the long and hard part of the wedding day… the part of the day where you and your love have to stand in line for the formal group shots that history seems to require. I try very hard to help my clients build a list that works for them but one that doesn’t overwhelm the day… we make the list and we make the time to do it. But in between the lines of people standing in front of the camera are these little breaks where someone has to go get somebody else and the players in that group revert to their own bad selves for a few minutes. I saw them start to crowd in so I moved in for a closer look… ever curious. I love the look on Kevin’s face as Karri spots the flask!

What’s in your pocket today?

Old School Traditions


A few old school traditions are alive and well in today’s wedding world. Even as the bouquet toss and the garter are beginning to fade, there is still a late part of the evening where one of the old traditions lives on.

After the major festivities, you’ll notice a group of guys, sans jackets, head for a corner outside of the venue… they are as relaxed as they are going to be on this long day. It’s almost always the best man who hands out the cigars and he is usually prepared with a cutter and a lighter. The conversation is quiet and it always feels like the men are channeling their older selves as they offer a different sort of toast, a race well-run sort of congratulations to the groom.

Of course, the mood swings in a different direction when the women start to join in. The pictures change, too. ;0)

It’s a favorite part of my camera work even if it makes my nose itch!

A Time Capsule for Madison


A Time Capsule is pretty much what we were making for Madison last month… she is due to join her happy family in March. Lauren and Conor were originally going to have a little courthouse affair but decided to make it more special. His mom’s sweet little home was host to about 25 friends and family members… these are going to be the people in Madison’s young life and some into her adulthood, too. All of these people will be offered up in the photographs from that day… they will seem impossibly young by the time she is able to sort through them and that is the special part.

If you go back through the older photographs in your own family, you get a sense of where you came from and, it is, for all intents and purposes, a Time Capsule that someone has collected for you.

Happy to help you make some history for the next generation! ;0)

Is the Garter Getting Tossed?


The Garter Toss used to be a staple of every wedding celebration. Usually staged right after the Bouquet Toss, it was generally a competitive and lively slice of the day. Today, the trends are moving in other directions… I think you could say that a lot of people are less comfortable with the staged sections of the traditional weddings. I have some couples who don’t even want to cut their cake as a planned thing. Maybe it’s a new age of less pageantry and more of an inclusive celebration with more mingling… less separation of couple and guests. That sounds kind of nice. ;0)

If you are curious about the history of the garter, this might give you some eye opening things to consider. It gave me a whole new perspective!

Happy to be the one with the camera in any case!

The Apache Wedding Blessing


It was a very small audience but when the officiant Heather Rose launched into the Apache Wedding Blessing, all of us had to laugh!

The Apache Wedding Blessing:
“Now you will feel no rain, For each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, For each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there is no more loneliness, For each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two bodies, But there is one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place, To enter into the days of your togetherness. And may your days be good and long upon the earth.”

The poem is one I hear often… partly because it is a clear and positive message to two people joining their lives together and partly, I suppose, because it isn’t connected to any one religion, giving you a chance to speak a more universal sort of blessing.
If you look it up, it isn’t connected to any Native American culture either but it does have an interesting history. ;0)

Kate and Vlad braved an incredibly wet afternoon last Saturday… Rocky Butte is a sweet little park open to all of the elements so once it’s the decided location there is no turning back. These two took it in stride… a good sign for their marriage ahead, yes?

I got soaked and there will be some water spots to fix but I wouldn’t have missed it!

Best Friends Forever


Your best friends should definitely be gathered into a group portrait at your wedding… it’s a no brainer! Some of my clients ask ahead and put it on the to-do list. Some get to their party and realize that it is a good idea… either way, it’s something you may not be able to do as often as you like. If you were to ask me, I’d say to try for this shot right before dinner. The wedding and the cocktail hour have happened and everyone is in a fine mood by then… the pressure is off and the smiles will be easy. Give your photographer a minute or two to find the right place for the size of your group and the rest of it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes. The image will go down in all of your history books forever. ;0)

This tribe of best friends had a heck of a good party at the end of August. The wedding was in a private shared garden and then they moved the crowd to the beautiful rooftop of the Eastside Exchange… a perfect venue for a Portland summer night.

Come make some history with me… it will be a gas!

Leaving the Sistine Chapel…

sistinestairdetail1In the spring of 2006, I was lucky beyond measure to finally visit Italy. I am sure Ron and I took on way too much in the short time we were there but I know I have to go back.

Rome was the last leg of our 13 days and we were getting punchy. Maybe Rome should be at the beginning of a trip like this because it was overwhelming. You need to have all of your wits and senses completely tuned in. As a photographer, I can get into visual overload pretty easily but if you combine that with the huge history around every corner, it’s almost like your brain says” Oh…just another ancient temple…”.  You have to stay focused or you risk glazing over.

If you tour the Sistine Museum, the famous chapel is towards the end of the four hour trek…imagine being swept along art encrusted corridors, some light, some very dark, shoulder to shoulder with masses of visitors. Many different languages and cultural habits all thrown into this boiling crowd thing. It’s probably the closest I have come to body surfing. Somehow, I expect my art encounters to be sublime and free of this bobbing and weaving fabric. The Chapel itself should have been quiet and calm with seats for all. Instead it was a sardine can…all packed in and staring up into the rich heavens created so long ago. The guards kept yelling NO PHOTO! and each time they did some unfortunate soul would pull out their point and shoot and it would start all over again. My view of the Sistine ceiling was straight up and ringed by jostling shoulders. Not sublime.

As we left the last galleries, the crowd thinned and we started down a ramp towards the exits. The stairway that opened up in front of me took my breath away. My brain came alive and I found myself starting to frame this massive beauty before I brought the camera up to my eye. Sublime accomplished.



Built around the turn of the 16th century by Donato Bramante, the spiral staircase was part of a new entrance to the palace and was designed for riding up on horseback.