As the Winter Solstice nears, there is a long and mournful sound that drifts across the river on December weekends. I usually stop what I’m doing to go stand on my front porch to listen… there is no sound like it!
Steam trains were an occasional treat in Virginia when I was growing up. My dad used to go looking for them whenever he heard they were going to be rolling through the valley.
Here in Portland, we have a great group of people who run the Oregon Rail Heritage Center and during the holidays, they run two trains from Oak’s Park to OMSI and back on the weekends… about a 45 minute ride.
I was all set to go yesterday with my camera but the skies turned a dull grey and the rain began to sneak in around the time I wanted to go. Meh.
Instead, I dug these out from December of 2006… I still have a couple more chances ahead and there is a different vantage point I want to try. ;0)
If you decide to go, get your tickets ahead, grab your kids or friends and be sure to bundle up… it will be cold but I think you will have a great trip!
I may try a ride next time but I love watching this slice of another time from the outside… trying to imagine it almost a hundred years ago.
If I have my facts straight, this is the Empire Builder and it is from 1929.
We mapped out the wedding timeline sitting at my kitchen table… when I asked Cait and Matt if they wanted getting ready photos, they said no so we decided that the day would start with them seeing each other for the first time. Arriving early at the University Club, I found them decorating their chuppah, still in jeans and sweaters. We staged our gear and started covering some of the details and the lovely architecture while they went upstairs to change. After a bit, I went up to ask Cait a question and found them helping each other dress… well, I stayed through the very precise bow-tie process and we decided that it would be really silly to go through a fake first meeting. ;0)
I love the people I get to work with… for the most part, they are happy and flexible as the day unfolds in front of them and it makes for the best pictures possible.
Fresh from the first kiss, Matt stopped in the aisle to kiss his new bride again… he’s a keeper! These two had such a perfect start to their marriage… the wedding was magnificent in every way. Friends, family and this astounding blue-sky day… the crowd sinking grateful toes into the lush green grass at his uncle’s house in Estacada. What could be better?
Inge called me to say that her husband was about to have a birthday… a milestone sort of birthday. She wanted to do a portrait for him so I suggested Edgefield and I could hear her smile over the phone. She and Michael got married there in 1998. Several years later, Michael had called me to do a surprise session for her birthday there… the girls were much younger then. So it seemed like the perfect continuation to go back to Edgefield for these pictures. Luckily it a place of many moods. ;0)
One of the best things about my job is watching the histories pile up… it feels very good to be a part of that.
In the course of a wedding day there are many moments that you may remember and I always hope one of them is the first conversation between just the two of you. With that in mind, I know that the photography can be a little intrusive at times. Every couple has different needs regarding privacy… some will say “We are going to take ten minutes to ourselves” and some won’t say anything at all but if I can give them some space as we work, I will.
Shannon and Randy got married in the tiny town of Condon, Oregon… wheat and wind and mostly sunshine. We had about a half an hour between the ceremony and the reception to do some portraits of the two of them… we split it between these shadowed silos at the edge of town and a stubbled wheat field out by the cemetery. I know Randy is quite camera shy so the conversation may have been about that but I’m hoping it was more a chance to marvel at being married!
Hang around and check out my work if you have a few minutes… I am always happy to share. ;0)
If you have been to many weddings you know the crowd can get a little loud when that first piece of cake is cut. The guests suddenly revert to Roman spectators at the Coliseum flashing thumbs up and down and hoping for a cake smearing spectacle. Sometimes they get it, too… can’t you just hear them behind me in this shot? Jen and Todd look happily alarmed.
I am just happy to have a chance to watch what happens and catch it for later… so far, no one has come after me with the sticky aftermath. ;0)
I love my job!
There are two or three parts of every wedding where you might hope that your guests are actually involved in the emotional conversation… where they are watching and feeling your wedding right along with you. More and more, I see heads down or obscured by devices… during the ceremony, people will actually stand in the aisle during the kiss or walk backwards during the recessional so that they can have the happy couple on their phone video. Same thing with the first dance. It used to be that photos of the crowd around the dance floor would be filled with smiling faces… most focused on the couple. Now, there are cameras, phones, iPads… you name it, but nobody is actually watching them dance.
This particular wedding guest has his not-so-subtle iPad front and center for every bit of the processional, vows and recessional… the only saving grace is that he wasn’t also wearing a red shirt. ;0)
Yes, it impacts what I do as a professional but you have to know that it changes the way a day is remembered for everyone… bride and groom included. Maybe it’s time to turn the tide and ask your guests to be in the moment for the high points of the day at least.
Happy to talk about getting married… ask me anything!
Last Spring I posted about being all excited by the addition of an iPhone to my gear bag… I have not been disappointed. Sure, I needed a real phone but I bought it for the camera. There is good photography going on in this very portable genre… if the apps are handled well, art happens. It is something you carry in your pocket and it has changed my already odd habit of looking at the world for things I’d like to keep, maybe to share. It makes me self-assign on a very different level.
The lead image here is a section of the Seattle Music Experience… the Space Needle is off to my right in case you go up there… huge, crazy, beautiful planes of metal designed by Frank O. Gehry.
Opera boy and I took advantage of a recent clear, cold day for a walkabout near Powell’s Books. This one was processed in an app called Decim8 and it is an interesting departure from it’s rather straightforward original… I don’t usually go this far with my images but I am liking this one very much.
This stack of bowls was a display at Rejuvenation Hardware… that place is an absolute candy store for me. I never had the nerve to just wander around with my real camera but with the iPhone, I look like every other shopper there taking notes in the showrooms. ;0)
Opera Boy and I wandered a little further in the cold sun and I found this one… that’s him in the hat.
Anyway, these are a few I felt like putting up today… tomorrow, the real business of 2013 begins again and I have other work to finish. The play will take a back seat for a while.
Seattle’s Pike Place Market is always a draw for me when I have a little spare time… sure, it’s crazy crowded and maybe a little too full of tourists but something in me enjoys watching the hustle. Camera-wise, it takes me to other places in my life like the flea market near my apartment in the French Quarter or the older parts of Coney Island… there’s a little ‘midway’ about all of them.
These two ladies had found a less trammelled space for a conversation and coffee. Out that bright window is Elliott Bay and Puget Sound full of ferries and small humped islands… on a sunny day you can see the incomparable Olympic Mountains. I imagine it was a fine view for the silent parts of a conversation.
Me, I just like to watch the world go by.
Josh and Liz took me across the pasture to see this old house on the property… we had talked about it at my table and then again when I visited to scout the locations. It seemed to fit the whole feel of their wedding plans. I was doubly pleased to see that it fit the mood of the entire wedding party… even with the massive wasp’s nest in the corner of the creaky old porch. ;0)
Josh grew up in this house and there might be plans to rebuild and live on this spot… what a fabulous history to keep alive!
I hope you will come talk to me if you are getting married… happy to be a part of the history effort.