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!
Flanked by the bright pink Voodoo Doughnuts boxes, Matthew makes a bold correction… his opening cut had flipped a piece of doughnut onto the table and Suzanne’s look was enough to alter his original course. She started laughing and the crowd went wild! ;0)
Voodoo Doughnuts, like cupcakes and pies, are on the rise as legitimate wedding treats… they are certainly less formal than a cake and it’s interesting to see how people respond when the sweets are offered. With a cake, each guest will likely have a piece. One. With almost any other type of dessert, it seems like they will have at least two servings since multiple flavors are more obvious. Or maybe doughnuts and cupcakes make us revert to being kids again when one was never enough…. yeah, I think that may be the actual answer. ;0)
Happy to observe and share the culture of our times!
Imagine a small loft jammed with lots of pretty girls trying to get ready for a wedding… there must have been close to 20 people all vying for some mirror time… clothes everywhere, curling irons and mascaras competing for the spaces. The fans are blowing, the air conditioner is trying to keep up and the door keeps opening and closing as a parade of people come and go, each on a mission of some sort. In the midst of all this, these two girls were ready ahead of most everyone else so their instructions were to try to stay out from underfoot. It was a treat to watch them watch the room… even Grace, our intrepid flower girl, had to look up from her assignment a few times.
The chaos early in the day is one of my favorite parts of a wedding… mostly people are happy and helping each other and that is a very satisfying vibe to be a part of. ;0)
Two lovers kiss and run away into the sun.. shielded by the blueberries, they turn, laughing, to watch the crowd that came to see them wed. After a few minutes, some kind soul brings them glasses of wine and they take their time drinking in the fact that they had actually gotten married.
I watch it at every wedding… the point where reality settles in and two people look at each other with a new light in their faces. It doesn’t hurt to take yourselves out of the crowd for a few minutes alone. Do it for the wonder of each other, don’t do it to discuss wedding details. Do it so you can go back to your crowd as a shiny new couple and really enjoy the rest of the day.
It is a pure privilege to be in a front row seat when these emotions run so close and high… I love my job!
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.
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)
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.
Every bride has a wish list. It’s no surprise that parts of her photography coverage will include items on her wish list. It’s my job to find out what she has in mind… to be sure that we communicate in detail about the parts of the day that she has dreamed about. Case in point, I don’t usually look for a huge landscape with a tiny couple in it when I consider portraits. It is a trend in today’s wedding imagery that sort of baffles me because it takes the emotional content out of view.
Last week, I had a a great little wedding in Old Town Alexandria. The Morrison House Hotel was the venue and my couple really wanted a portrait on the front staircase… they had seen one like it during their planning sessions. It was a classic sort of space and it made for a nice image. It may not classify as a portrait, per se, but I am sure it will satisfy her wish and will remind them of this happy day for a long time to come.
If you are making plans, local or destination, I’d be happy to talk to you!
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.