It’s true that Opera Boy and I save most of the bread heels. We freeze them and when the freezer gets too full, we have a perfect excuse to go to the beach. He gets a kick out of chumming for sea gulls. To his credit, he tries to do this away from the crowds. ;0)
If the beach of choice is Lincoln City, his first order of business is to buy taffy (alledgedly for the guys at work) and then we feed the gulls… enjoying the drama. After that we head to one of the places where we can fly our kites. Sometimes we get skunked… there are calm days at the coast more often than I knew before I had the kite habit.
When it’s calm, we walk. Watching the crazy-happy dogs and the slow progression of people weaving over the sand and sitting on the driftwood makes me happy. There are rock cairns and sand castles, feathers and shells and sea grasses. And sometimes, there are palm trees underfoot, right? Life is better with beaches in it.
One of the best things about this job is the chance to look back, to look in the rear view mirror. Many of my wedding clients go on to make scrumptious families and I get to watch them grow. It’s a slow process and if I work with someone fairly often, it isn’t as evident to me until I start putting pictures from the different times side by side.
Stephanie and Lee have been a favorite couple of mine… there is such an easy grace to their relationship. I saw it on the wedding day and in the planning beforehand and it continues as they raise their two rambunctious daughters.
The first one laid the groundwork for a couple of years before the second one came along. This latest session was a fine example of fully present parents and charming children with just enough wild in them to make life good.
If you haven’t considered keeping your favorite photographer on hand to document your family every now and then, you might want to think about it. I know this blog has been wedding-centric since it started in 2009 but in 2017, I plan on posting more of the other work here, too. Families and babies, sure, but also head shots and senior portraits and the like. People photography. ;0)
Onward to the New Year… it’s time to leave 2016 in the rear view mirror!
Springtime in Portland is one of the most beautiful seasons we have and we all know it’s because of the rain. Sometimes it actually doesn’t rain. If you have a venue combination that is mostly inside, then you have a fine chance to visit a park or use your own garden for a small portion of your photography. The colors and the greenery are so lush and, when combined with the soft light on an overcast day, well, it’s hard to beat. This lovely shot at Peninsula Park was a stop between the church and the hotel reception on a sweet day in late May.
Since our summers are becoming so over the top hot, I’d like to see more springtime weddings on the calendar… its a sweet look.
Fairytales may not happen to everyone you meet but you know it when you see it. Elena and Leigh have been in love since grade school… they knew early on they were a true fit for each other. When I first met them a few years ago, I had no idea how special this bond was. We started with an engagement session and I realized that it was going to be a deep and important relationship for me, as well. The wedding was perfect and personal and we have since done belly pictures and baby pictures and family sessions. In all of that, I feel like we are related… like we can talk about anything.
I am inspired by these two every time I get to spend a little time with them.
Find the one who truly loves you and love them with everything you’ve got… the world will be a better place for everyone. ;0)
The grace moments happen without fanfare… you can’t really stage something like this without making it look dorky. It’s not something you can suggest to a couple, it has to be an organic thing. It has to come from them.
Jessica and Phil had a crowded wedding day. Many people and a tight timeline made for sort of a frazzled tone to the early parts. It was most noticeable when we took 15 minutes after dinner to sneak out for some pictures of just the two of them. I watched them exhale and they began to breathe a little easier. Shy of the camera to start with, I asked them if they had honeymoon plans. That was all it took as they started to talk about Cabo San Lucas and the relaxing they’d be able to do there… like a great shiny reward hanging just ahead.
Trust your photographer to find and catch the grace moments… you’ll want to have them for later.
Pie was served at Castaway on one of the last nights of Summer… the part of Summer when school hasn’t started yet and it’s still light pretty late. We can tell it’s winding down, though. That didn’t faze anyone at the wedding of Kate and Ian. The crowd was chock full of friends and family and I am always pleased to see people participating fully. When dinner was done, the ice cream was set out on a table full of pies… all sorts of pies. Initially, Kate had said she didn’t think they were going to do a “Pie Cutting” sort of thing but when the time came for dessert, Ian pulled her into a cutting… making sure to keep one of the hearts intact as he cut a piece to share. These two are perfect for each other!
On this lovely evening, my thanks to a Dream Team of vendors… it was such a smooth and classy event! I’d work with these talents again in a heartbeat.
And last, my friend, Steve Sharp served as the officiant… I met him a while back and have been waiting to work with him. Kind, patient and very real… just the sort of person you’d like to hand you into your married life.
Come see about me if you are planning a wedding… there is a lot to talk about. ;0)
The vintage typewriter was set up on a low table in the foyer of the Village Ballroom, the idea being that guests would leave sweet notes of congratulations for Christie and Matt on the day of their wedding. When the music was quiet, you could hear the clackity-clack of the keys striking paper… the sound came and went for awhile. Then Avery, 3 years old, and the vintage typewriter became one. The page that had previously had a a few notes on it was filling with random letters and the key strikes kept coming… I think he was parked in front of it for about 45 minutes. Since Avery is a favorite of the groom, you can bet that page will be treasured as much as the others. ;0)
I enjoyed watching the adults… their levels of concentration very visible and their fingers unused to the force needed to drive the keys. Vintage typewriters aren’t for wimps… you have to get it right or live with it unless you happen to be carrying the oh-so-sexy whiteout.
Funny thing in this day of exclamation points, the Royal, from the the ’40s, had no exclamation point. You had to type a lower case l and hit the backspace and the shift key to add a sort of period to the bottom of it!
I grew up in a typewriter household and I confess, I miss the sound. If you are in the market for a vintage typewriter, go to St. John’s and visit Blue Moon Camera & Machine… it’s a fascinating shop. ;0)
Anticipation was the name of the game on this sunny Saturday afternoon. Amos was waiting for his Shannon in a hallway at the top of the Indigo building. He stood a little straighter and tried not to fidget every time the elevator made a sound but he was so ready to see her! His face was changing from serious to sunny as his thoughts swirled… he didn’t say much and he didn’t pay much attention to anything else… just like a man in love probably ought to be.
As I stood with him in that hallway, I imagined her long ride up in the elevator, anticipating the way it must feel to see each other for the first time on their wedding day. What I know for certain is that the smiles began in earnest when she stepped into that hallway… smiles that stayed lit for most of the day. I think they have a long life ahead of them… more smiles than not. ;0)
I’m so glad that I get to share this kind of day with so many great people… it is a privilege in every sense of the word. It really is a fine sort of work I get to do!
Paperwork rules the wedding day even if it’s from the background. It starts with the planning notebooks and threads through vendor contracts, timelines and endless checklists. Don’t let it get you down, though… an organized wedding is a happy wedding. Paperwork sounds kind of dry and frustrating but it is the glue that will hold the day together. If you do it right, you can get up that morning and have a fine time knowing that everything is pretty much under control.
For Shannon and Amos, the last piece of the paperwork puzzle was to sign the marriage license. It was fun to watch two newly married lawyers work through the legal language with their Brooklyn judge… each state is different so the three of them were very careful to get it right.
As a photographer, I am always present at this part of the day… it’s usually done shortly after the ceremony so I always check with the officiant to see when he or she is ready. It’s part of my job to find a spot that works for the paperwork and the photography. These two got married at The Armory so Shannon was changing into her party shoes in one of the green rooms backstage… I peeked around the corner and saw this table on the main stage and thought it would make a very interesting space. The judge agreed and off we went!
I guess it had to happen eventually… our professional photographic community got an e mail from The Nines Hotel this week detailing a new fee schedule for any photographs taken on their property. This makes sense for a hotel trying to just be a hotel instead of a destination for anyone in town with a camera… yes, it’s a very pretty space but it’s a private space and, understandably, they have gotten very tired of tripping over photographers. I get that. My concern is that the brides might not understand and it will be a budget issue in every case. The fees are high enough to give everyone pause, high enough that the wedding client should not expect her photographer to carry the fee. If you are planning your wedding day with this hotel as part of it, please be ready for the conversation with your professional photographer.
There is also now an annual fee to photograph clients in Portland’s public spaces… if your photographer doesn’t have that big yellow permit hanging from her bag, chances are you might get kicked out of the park. These are things that you, as clients, need to be aware of. Do your homework, hire the pros so that your plans go smoothly.
If this is the beginning of the crackdown, we will all need to step back and have a very serious discussion about expectations on both sides of the issue. Maybe it’s time to require that photographers be licensed… maybe if we are actually serious about this line of work, we will treat it more carefully, with more respect.
Happy to answer any questions you might have in this complicated process.