Time is the name of the game in any relationship. Sometimes it seems like a hurdle to jump and sometimes it’s a runaway train but if you are part of a solid team, you can face it together. Ty and Lamar were partners for 10 years before they were able to marry legally… that’s a long time to want something you can’t have. When the day finally came, I was caught many times by how perfect a fit they were together. We did this portrait a little before the ceremony at the Academy Chapel and that gave them a chance for some quiet time before the whole crowd thing that a wedding becomes.
I am happy to see that our society is moving in the right direction… it’s past time for a balanced world.
Engagement photos can happen anytime… the rules have become much more relaxed and I’m fine with that. These guys, Gary and Steven, jumped the date for legal same sex weddings in Oregon by getting married in Vancouver last Spring. We all went to the courthouse and did the less romantic version to get the wedding done. Now, at the end of October, they will throw a great party for their family and friends. What has been missing in all of this was a chance to take portraits of the two of them in any kind of relaxed and sweet fashion. At the beginning of July, we spent a couple of hours at the Pittock Mansion in an attempt to give them something to hold for the rest of their lives… pictures to frame and take their place on the mantle piece where the rest of their special photographs live…. something to say, look, we are truly a couple and this is a reminder for all time.
Some people will tell you that engagement photos have to happen when you get engaged but that just isn’t the case. Sweet portraits can happen before or after or anywhere in between. It just doesn’t matter. What matters is that I have two people in love and the chance to put that on paper at some point in the relationship. For me, I have had the pleasure to get to know two very nice people and now I get to cover their party in a couple of weeks… how cool is that?
For me, road test is my description for taking a new camera or lens out into the world to see how it performs. It is the second step if you count the first step being the one where I shoot around my house in an utterly familiar environment. In the road test I try for something brand new… something I can’t predict too well.
The new camera is a Lumix GH4 by Panasonic… a snappy little camera with a lot of muscle under the hood. So far, I am very, very pleased. Yesterday found me at Fort Vancouver for the first time. I have been on Officer’s Row a gazillion times but never had a chance to go into the fort. This image was taken in the blacksmith’s shop in natural light and I couldn’t be more pleased. The only caveat here is that Adobe doesn’t support RAW files for this camera yet… the workaround for now is to shoot RAW + large JPGs and save the RAW files for later. That means that as nice as this version looks, I can’t wait to get my hands on the RAW file and see how it flies!
My unending thanks to Mark Toal, the Panasonic rep who has given me so much of his time and information… I have been looking for something small and fresh for a few years and he suggested I look at this line.
Ultimately, this little camera is going to take me places I want to explore… sure, I could pack my Nikon bag but sometimes it seems like too much to carry… like it’s too much work. Since play is what I’m after, I may extend the road test for awhile. ;0)
If you pick a Friday afternoon to go to the courthouse in Vancouver, you will have a long wait in traffic…. plenty of time to get nervous. Gary and Steve and several family members lined up to go through the metal detectors in the entrance of the Vancouver Courthouse… after a few blips and beeps, we made our way to the noisy waiting area on the second floor. Promptly at 4:30, a man came to assign each set of people to a room… we were about 12 in number so we were ushered into a sizable space to wait for a judge. There were papers to be filled out, stories and jokes to be told, nerves to be soothed… the judge came in almost an hour later and, in about two minutes, married these men. To go that fast after so long came as a surprise.
To have to wait so many years to get to this point is the real story. They bought beautiful puzzle rings about 12 years ago when it looked like their marriage might be a legal possibility… those rings got put into a box and saved for better times. Well, better times are here for some parts of the country and, with luck, will soon be possible in Oregon.
I meet some of the very best people in this line of work… they take care of each other and that’s what a marriage is all about. ;0)
I was expecting to find Ty and Lamar enjoying a gorgeous Sunday afternoon like most people do… relaxing on the patio, maybe making plans for dinner… when I got to their house, Lamar was ready but Ty wasn’t home yet. Small wonder… Ty Stober has thrown his hat into the ring for a City Council seat in Vancouver. Even though the wedding is less than two weeks away, he is working long, stressful hours and probably will right up to the day.
This description from his web site pretty much sums up one of the key issues: “Last year, Ty served as Board Chair for Equal Rights Washington, one of the key organizations that drove the passage of Washington’s freedom to marry law. In that role Ty interacted with legislative, civic and business leaders to build a coalition in order to advance the strategy. He was also one of the founders of Equality Southwest Washington which advocates for the LGBT residents in the local community.”
Now, he and his perfect partner of 10 years are free to marry in the city they love… I won’t spoil the secrets of the wedding day but I will share once we get to that day. I know for sure that this is going to be a very special wedding!