Sometimes everything goes perfectly to plan…
Other times it still goes perfectly to plan, except that the weather is trying to do all four seasons in an hour. Such is life in Oregon.
I first met Briana through Summer Robbins Flowers during my first year in Bend. I could immediately see that her heart was just as big as her smile and felt so blessed to have multiple opportunities to work with her over the last couple of years. This past summer I got to meet her partner, Drew and was pleasantly surprised when he reached out to me a few months later to discuss a surprise portrait session with Briana and her Frenchie, Chloe. Surprise portraits you say? Hmmmmm sounds like a proposal to me! Even though I desperately wanted to ask him if he was going to put a ring on it, I decided to wait until he brought it up at a coffee/planning date. …which he did. Yay!!!
I suggested the dock at Suttle Lake. It’s not heavily populated during December, I’ve been wanting to do a session there, it’s romantic af, aaaaaand I learned it’s where they had one of their first dates! Yaaaas best location ever! We decided that it would be less suspicious if we started the shoot like a regular portrait session with just the two of them to warm up. *wink* Then I would ask Drew to go get Chloe from the car, at which point he would put on her special collar and tag. I’d have them all set up and “Oh no, Drew tie your shoe for me…” and “Hey Briana can you fix Chloe’s collar?”
She said yes!
Many thanks to my lovely assistant, Sara for all her help in making this a flawless experience.
Second shooting for Mallory Torchio Photography.
It was a bright sunny day at Faith Hope and Charity Vineyards outside Terrebonne, Oregon for Mary and Garrett’s wedding.
The day was filled with laughter, blue skys, wildflowers, and googly-eyed love. Garrett sported a navy suit with a pink neck tie, along with his groomsmen; while Mary wowed everyone in her art deco pattern beaded dress next to her bridesmaids who also wore navy. The couple let the natural scenery, as well as the lush landscaping, do most of the decorating for them. Adding only their reception tables with small centerpieces and strings of edison lights along the courtyard and dancefloor.
I can’t wait for another round of warm days and long summer nights for this year’s weddings.
Here a few of my favorites from Mary and Garrett’s day…
Second Shooting for Stevi Sayler Photo.
Ally + Brent had a traditional service at the Historic Catholic Church in Downtown Bend on a blue bird fall day in October.
The bride looked stunning in an heirloom dress; while the groom sported a bold blue suit. Everything about the wedding was colorful from Ally’s bouquet to the beautiful fall leaves.
After the service the newly weds leisurely made their way across the Old Mill to the Deschutes Brewery Mountain Room for their reception where friends and family waited to congratulate them.
Here are a few of my favorites from their day.
Second Shooting for Jessica of Lady J Memories.
Private residence weddings can be extra special because everything, including the venue, is personal and holds nostalgic value.
Sabra + Zayin tied the knot at her Aunt’s property outside Tumalo in Central Oregon.
The whole day was a whirlwind of family, family, and more family. …here are some of my favorites from their day.
Second Shooting for Andrew Paul Photography
It was a scorching hot day for Hayley and Jordan’s intimate wedding. We started at Ranch at the Canyons for getting ready, reception prep, and family time. Usually the anticipation is the worst part of any wedding day, but H+J had something extra special up their sleeves for us… a midday 104 degree hike up Misery Ridge at Smith Rock. lol! It actually wasn’t so bad since we were constantly stopping to take portraits with some of the most gorgeous views in Central Oregon. Once we were at the top our biggest challenge was deciding which EPIC view to use for their backdrop! After a couple hours it was time for their ceremony at the small amphitheater at the north end of the park. Hayley’s dog, Maybe, was dog of honor/flower dog and stole the show ALL. DAY. LONG. Jordan swept Hayley off her feet with a romantic dip for their kiss! The couple stopped by Base Camp Pizza in Terrebonne to pick up dinner for everyone that was waiting for them back at the ranch. A chill evening followed as the temps finally started to fall. Everyone enjoyed pizza, beer, doughnuts, yard games, and watching lizards run across the patio.
Congratulations Jordan + Hayley! Here are a few of my favs from the day…
Second shooting for Stevi Sayler Photography.
I love it when weddings share so much tradition and culture.
Brandi & Reza had a blended American – Persian wedding at Zenith Vineyards on a cloudless summer day. Everything was rich with color, symbolism, and love as we explored and photographed the ceremony table. Most of the elements were there to express happiness, faith, sweetness, family, and good luck for the future. As the morning went on we learned that some of Reza’s family – including his parents – were not able to be there because of the travel ban on people coming from Iran (and other countries). It cast a shadow of sadness over the day, but that didn’t stop them from doing everything the could to include them. A small handful of guests were in charge of streaming the whole day so that his family could watch it all online.
Dispite missing family members everyone was full of laughter and ready to celebrate.
Both Brandi & Reza were emotional throughout the day… I’m a sucker for a teary groom. So when Brandi walked down the aisle with both her Father and Step-Dad on each side of her Reza was already primed for some tears; though nothing could have prepared him for his bride reading her vows to him in both English AND Persian. It was a beautiful surprise that brought EVERYONE to happy tears. They ended their ceremony with a kiss and by eating honey off each other’s pinky fingers (sweet life & marriage).
That’s when the party really started…
Second shooting for Stevi Sayler Photography
Working with my photo-wife, Stevi, is always the highlight of my summer… especially since that’s basically the only time we get to see each other during wedding season.
Some folks might say that it’s impossible to have a romantic backyard wedding. Well those folks have clearly never been to Oregon; where backyards can be riverfront property and hold over 150 people who are going to dance the night away! The energy that normally would have gone into a venue instead went into thoughtful details, taking good care of their guests, and gifts for their wedding party – the guys all got fun socks that recalled something personal about them. Natalie + Scott were surrounded by multiple generations of family, friends, and farm land. My favorite part of the day was Natalie’s laugh and smile… and the BBQ food-truck that served us all dinner.
Congratulations Natalie + Scott! Here are a few highlights from the day!
Sometimes sessions don’t go as planned… and you know you have a really great couple to work with when they’re down for whatever adventure the day brings!
Kelly and Aaron are big time snowboarders. They’re all too aware of how snow conditions can change quickly, especially early in the season. The 3 of us were watching the forecast and snow levels in the days leading up to their session. Living in Portland, it’s not the shortest drive to come to Bend and Mt Bachelor, but the snow was better here than at Mt Hood so we went for it. …that is until the snow started to melt. 🙁 Overnight the temps started to rise and so did the snow line. We met up at a very-not-at-all-snowy Wanoga Sno-Park to make a plan; which ended up being go to Bachelor and play in what little snow was available. The snow gods smiled on our determination and started dumping snow of all shapes and sizes on us and their 2 pups – Tonks & Dobie – who were very excited by the change of scenery.
Aaron and Kelly are a super sweet couple. Between warming up our hands and throwing snow balls for Dobie & Tonks there was lots of laughter, gentle rough housing in the snow, and plenty of smoochin. One thing that we did get to keep from our original plan was a short hot chocolate with marshmallows picnic. The warm mugs were welcome in cold hands as was the snuggling.
Looking for a wedding photographer? Let’s get coffee… or happy hour! Reach out on my CONTACT page.
Second shooting for Gina Cholick.
It’s that time of year where I get to share the photography from weddings that I was a second shooter for this past season. For those of you that aren’t familiar, it has become increasingly common for a wedding photographer to bring on another professional to assist them on a wedding day. This has so many benefits to it and is absolutely worth the investment if it’s not included in your photographer’s service. The second shooter covers alternate angles during the ceremony, helps wrangle family and wedding party for portraits, will work with one of the partners while the primary photographer is with the other, shoots boat loads of candids and reaction photos while the formal portraits are happening, and fixes clothes, hair, makeup, etc. Sometime photographers will use the opportunity to second shoot to learn and gain experience in a highly competitive and high pressure field… personally I only use established professionals for second shooters, but will bring on an assistant or third shooter if someone reaches out to me. As an established professional myself, I really enjoy second shooting for other pros! It gives me an opportunity to make connections with other photographers, try new ideas/techniques, and sometimes diversify my portfolio.
Tim and Emily’s wedding had a certain coziness to it. I’m not sure what it was exactly… but it felt extra welcoming and chillax.
Aspen Hall is a local event hall next door to one of Bend’s larger city parks – Shevlin Park. The hall is surrounded by walking/hiking trails, a fishing pond, Tumalo Creek, and of course aspen trees. Tim and Emily had an outdoor ceremony under a rustic arbor decorated with flowers and greenery. Their indoor/outdoor reception was centered around the photo-booth, dance floor (indoor), and shaded bar (outdoor) featuring local Deschutes beer and custom pint glasses. Toward the end of the day we took advantage of a glowy sunset for some romantic post-ceremony portraits at a nearby overlook.
Enough talk… more photos!
Venue // Aspen Hall
Planning + Coordinating // Shine Events
Floral // Woodland Floral Design
Catering + Bartending // Bleu Bite
Music // DJ Sir Juan
Photo-Booth // Adventure Box Photo Booth
First, welcome to my first non-photography, non-wedding related blog post yaaaay!
Anyone who has known me for more than 5 minutes will tell you that, “Amanda has opinions… and random ideas… and weird dreams.” One of the things that I’ve started to have strong feelings about is gift giving. These feelings are a reflection of my feelings and opinions on consumerism, waste(fulness), child-rearing, social constructs, and family dynamics. Now, before you ask the answer is no I do not have children. My partner has a son that I’ve been so fortunate to watch grow into a young adult and who doesn’t rolls his eyes at my opinionated ramblings. Even if that weren’t the case I still believe that I’m perfectly justified in having opinions on child-rearing because I’m a human who interacts with other humans every. single. day.
Another foundational opinion that influences my feelings on gift giving is that it should be about the gesture. A gift is a gesture that someone cares about you, has paid attention to your wants and needs, and knows you well enough to know what your likes, interests, etc. What it is not/should not be is an obligation (of which there are varying degrees), a contest, or something that people max out their credit cards over.
For the last couple years my partner and I have been purging. We have too much stuff (more on that in another post), not enough space, and have developed our own tastes and styles. So, last year, when my Mom called to ask what we’d like for Christmas I said, “Consumables.” “Like what?” “I’m not sure, but we really don’t need or want any stuff.” She did a good job, but I think that when I gave the same answer this year it was frustrating so I started thinking about what would qualify as “not stuff”. I have also had so many conversations with friends about how there’s always that one person who’s soooooo impossible to shop for. Here’s another opinion I’ve taken on thanks to my partner-man: sometimes you have to know better and get them something that they want, but that they don’t want to want. I’m a perfect example: I don’t like “girly” stuff (yes I do), but more importantly I’m not going to buy it for myself. This can be as simple as when he got me a pair of purple handlebar grips for my bike instead of the black ones. He knows I was eye-balling the purple ones because they’re fun and colorful, but that I would play it safe and get the black ones instead.
So with all of that here are my gift ideas for people who don’t want “stuff”, who “have everything”, are minimalists, or are “impossible to shop for” (in no particular order, not all ideas were originally mine)…
- Date night gift cards or coupons – Also a good idea for kids!
- Dinner at a restaurant they like
- Tickets to a movie/concert
- Child/Pet care
- Self-care day gift cards
- Bottle of wine
- Child/Pet care
- Original Art! – Also a good idea for kids!
- Support artists that they like or know
- Commission a pet portrait
- Perhaps it’s of a place/thing they like
- Plants – Also a good idea for kids!
- Low-maintenance house plant(s) with container
- Seeds/Starts for garden
- Plant supplies
- Replace something “old” or “broken”
- Should legitimately need to be replaced
- Like… kitchen/bath towels, oven mits, utensils, door mats, etc
- Cover a month/year of an existing subscription
- Like… gym, magazine, CSA box, Blue Apron, domestic service, etc
- Class/Workshop & Supplies – Also a good idea for kids!
- Should be a topic that they’ve expressed interest in and/or that you can do together.
- Car Wash & Detail Gift Cards
- iTunes or Audio Book Gift Cards (commuters will LOVE this) – Also a good idea for kids!
- Fancy (or not) Consumables
- Like… spices, coffee, alcohol, oils, body care products, other non-perishables
- Activity that has tickets or cover charge – Also a good idea for kids!
- Like… Membership to local museum, seasonal events, concert, lecture, festivals, outdoor anything, etc.
- Did they recently get married, have a baby, or a family portrait session?
- Yes? Purchase prints/display items
- No? Gift card for session
- Acts of service coupon book
- “Good for one…”
- Make a charitable donation in their name… to a charity that THEY care about.
- Buy them an eff’ing star!
- Pool together for an AirBnb weekend
Also if there’s one thing that I appreciate as an adult that I hated as a kid… NICE SOCKS & UNDERWEAR.