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 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!
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…
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.
When it’s one of your own getting married you just can’t hold back!
Robin is the hair and makeup goddess behind Desert Rose Bridal Styling. Her seamless blending, bold moody eyes, and refined hair styles are, in my opinion, her signature look. So when she announced that she and Russ were tying the knot the whole wedding community was bustling with excitement! If there was one thing everyone knew to be true, Robin & Russ’ wedding would be GORGEOUS… and it really really was.
The reception tables were my favorite part of the design and styling. Rich blue linens, mismatched chairs and jewel toned glass, centerpieces ranging from full blooms to delicate cloches to gothy skulls lined the tables. Everything was placed with intention and created an intimate reception spaces for the cold night ahead. One hiccup was the weather… as is common in Central Oregon the Fall can be unpredictable and turbulent. The original plan was for the ceremony to be in front of the tipi with Smith Rock State Park in the background. During set up we had to make the call: outside and risk everything getting ruined plus a rainy ceremony? Or inside where everything is safe, but it’s dark and there isn’t enough room for everyone (anyone) to sit. We went with inside; then just as the ceremony was getting ready to start everything settled down and the sun broke. Such is (wedding) life. …that’s probably a good analogy for marriage actually. Ha!
The creative teams worked through the morning and early afternoon to get the spaces just right; full of floral arrangements, heat lamps, boho decor, candles, string lights, and a prettiest geode cake I’ve ever seen. At the Clubhouse, Robin was working her own magic in the bridal suite with her sisters and soon-to-be step daughter, while Russ was managing their two little boys and rubbing elbows with family. Soon guests would start to trickle in and take in the views from around the Tuscan Stables and enjoy the pre-ceremony cocktail hour that included a rosé that they made from grapes grown at a small vineyard on the Ranch at the Canyons property. With a limited guest list everyone was there because they had deep ties to Robin & Russ. There was laughing and crying, hootin’ and hollerin’, all the hugs and all the cheers! The entire day felt so intimate and personal, like we were all getting a first hand glimpse into their life, their family, and their love.
I don’t always have the pleasure and opportunity to spend time with my couples before their wedding day.
Such was the case with Kate + Katie… in fact we met for the first time when they arrived at Shevlin Park to be married. I always encourage my clients to take advantage of an engagement session, we usually meet up a few times to discuss particulars over coffee, I attend rehearsal the day before, then I spend the bulk of the wedding day with both of them. But sometimes even though you’re clients live busy lives in Portland you still feel connected to them the moment you see them walking toward you. I suppose when you’re radiating love and light on your wedding day it’s easy to share that with everyone you see. 🙂
Kate + Katie met through a mutual friend. According to them they were friends for 6 months “…then we weren’t [just friends].” They enjoy spending their time together hiking, traveling, going to concerts, and playing with their dog, Chance. These two beauties were surrounded by their families and closest friends for a very intimate elopement style service performed by Kate’s brother. Tumalo Creek sang behind them as Kate + Katie shared their vows and exchanged rings. They promised the be kind, patient, to love each other for who they are and for who they will be.
Q1. What was your favorite part of the day?
K+K: Our favorite part of the day was standing in front of our family, saying our vows with the river in the background.
Q2: What are you most looking forward to in married life?
K+K: We’re most looking forward to sharing our lives together and building a family.
Q3: What advice would you like to share with others?
K+K: Our advice is to be present and focus on each other.
Venue // Shevlin Park, Bend Oregon Photography // Amanda Photographic Coordinating // AE Creative Dresses // BHLDN Flowers // Donner Flower Shop Rings // Twist HMUA // Julianna Clausen Music //Quinn DeVeaux Reception // 900 Wall
I once overheard a woman angrily talking with her friends about her son’s wedding photographer wanting to do an engagement session and how she believed that it was “just one more place for them to gouge us!” Needless to say it took a lot of self control to not correct this woman with the much more probable reasons they wanted to do an engagement session… and inform her that her bitching was ruining my self-care manicure. But it got me thinking about the reasons that I encourage my couples to take advantage of my complimentary engagement sessions and how to put that into words that even a penny-pincher would agree with.
I’d like to use my session with Robin & Russ as my example…
These two have been together for over 5 years and their wedding is actually this weekend! All the same I asked them to meet me for a mini engagement session at a nearby natural area at every photographer’s favorite time – golden hour (the hour before sunset). Robin & Russ didn’t neeeeed engagement portraits; they wouldn’t be used to announce their intentions, for save-the-date cards, a wedding website, invitations, or for wedding day decor. <<< Which are all very common and great reasons to do an engagement session by the way. Instead this session was more tactical, this was our opportunity to work together before the wedding and give all of us a chance to experience how each other worked.
Examples of questions that I would like answers to before the big day: What are their bad photo habits? Do they tilt their heads a lot? Can they give me a natural smile? How do they interact with each other? Are they blinkers? Is there anything they’re self-conscious about? Do they know how to ignore the camera? How much direction do they need? Is their chemistry visual or verbal?
Examples of seeds I want to plant in my couple’s brain before the big day: Chin down and forward. Thumbs in pockets. Dropping the hip to the back. Level out the head. V shape. Walking sloooooowly. Hold your bouquet low. Ignore the camera. Laugh to smile.
Robin is the magic behind Desert Rose Bridal Styling and I can’t wait to see how gorgeous their wedding turns out!!!