Archive for Behind The Scenes

Whitney + Garrett | Pacific Northwest Nautical Rustic Seattle Space Needle BFW

Seattle Space Needle Winter Wedding Photography-50

A few weeks ago I blogged about working in Phoenix for The Big Fake Wedding (BFW), now it’s time to show off the Seattle show. Unfortunately this was the event where I broke my ankle last fall… sigh. Before we get into all the pretty photos let’s recap so that ya’ll remember what BFW is and why it’s so awesome.

Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the team the organizes BFW series all over the US. I applied to photograph the Phoenix and Seattle shows and couldn’t be happier with my experience working at both events. The vendor teams totally brought their A-game and I’m crazy in love with the concept behind the BFW…

Complete with a cocktail-style dinner, an emotional vow renewal ceremony and a dance-party reception, The Big Fake Wedding has become a killer alternative to a bridal show. The hand-selected vendors perform their services as they would at a real wedding, and the “wedding guests” (brides-to-be!) get to hear the music, taste the cakes, and smell the flowers… while enjoying a night of great food, dancing and surprises.

I was worried that it would be strange or competitive working with other photographers that weren’t working for me, but the other photo teams were just as excited as I was to participate in an event that fosters community over competition. We helped each other when needed, made sure that each other got time with all the bridal details, and even took a couple photos of each other working. Overall I’m going with “Magical” for my description.

When Whitney went to visit her brother in San Diego, who knew that she would fall in love with his roommate?! The only problem was that she lived across the country in Orlando. Garrett asked if he could come out to visit her, and she said no, but he booked a flight anyway. He came out, spent a week with Whitney and her family, and then what happened next is a direct quote from Garrett (because it’s just too sweet not to share verbatim). “After the best week of my life, I was all in and knew I would marry her someday.” Aw, shucks. By the end of the trip, Garrett asked Whitney’s dad if he could move to Orlando to date her, and a year later he proposed on the dock where they sat that first week and fell in love.

What is the best date you have ever had? From her: My favorite date we’ve ever had was our first one. I was in San Diego for the weekend and he told me he was picking me up to watch the sunrise. He got me at 4:30 am, we got some coffee, and went to Torrey Pines and climbed a lifeguard stand while we waited for it. The conversation was great so the sun was pretty much up by the time we realized – the sun doesn’t “rise” on the west coast. It was definitely behind us. He still gets made fun of for that.

What is the most awesome thing about your marriage? From him: The most awesome thing about our marriage has been the constant growing of “in loveness” that we have felt for one another. It feels like through each season of life we have come to we become better friends and more united.

One of the things that completely sold me on working with the teams at The Big Fake Wedding is their commitment to promoting healthy, happy, and lasting marriages; not just inspiring people to live out their wedding day fantasies. It would be so easy for them to say “Great, thanks for coming, good luck with that whole being together forever thing.” I believe that as a professional who witnesses dozens of weddings each year and who works to build a relationship with each of my wedding couples, that it is so important for me (and my fellow creative vendors) to encourage those couples in their marriages. One of the ways that I believe I can do this professionally is to give their wedding photography my full attention, deepest care, as well as being a calm and confident fixture on what can be a very stressful day. My wedding day goal: Bride-chilla. …not Bride-zilla.

Now you might be asking, “Why would you want to photograph an event in Seattle? You’re an Oregon photographer!”

Well let’s just say that while I LOOOOOOVE OREGON and would never dream of living anywhere else; I also love working in new places, I love to travel, and I love Seattle – The Emerald City. While Seattle has the same general “wedding season” as the rest of the PNW it has some pretty fantastic urban scenery. I also serve Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Montana, and Colorado.

Enjoy!
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Kelly + Robert | Urban Fiesta Dia de los Muertos Theme BFW

Phoenix Arizona Urban Art Gallery Wedding Photography_0001

I know that this event has been published and blogged already by The Big Fake Wedding & Ruffled Blog, but now it’s MY turn!

Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the team the organizes The Big Fake Wedding (BFW) series all over the US. I applied to photograph the Phoenix and Seattle shows and couldn’t be happier with my experience working at both events. The vendor teams totally brought their A-game and I’m crazy in love with the concept behind the BFW…

Complete with a cocktail-style dinner, an emotional vow renewal ceremony and a dance-party reception, The Big Fake Wedding has become a killer alternative to a bridal show. The hand-selected vendors perform their services as they would at a real wedding, and the “wedding guests” (brides-to-be!) get to hear the music, taste the cakes, and smell the flowers… while enjoying a night of great food, dancing and surprises.

Like Lovesick (partners with Offbeat Bride) this was more than a bridal show, this was an opportunity to work with other professionals and showcase our services in action to each other as well as perspective couples. Yay! The Phoenix BFW had a fiesta/dia de los muertos theme. It was colorful, bright, full of textures, sugar skulls, cacti, and unique details. Honestly it was stunning and I couldn’t have asked for better material to photograph. So. Much. To. Photograph. Oh and did I mention that our bride got to wear not one, not two, but THREE dresses!?!? ::swoon::

I was worried that it would be strange or competitive working with other photographers that weren’t working  for me, but the other photo teams were just as excited as I was to participate in an event that fosters community over competition. We helped each other when needed, made sure that each other got time with all the bridal details, and even took a couple photos of each other working. Overall I’m going with “Magical” for my description.

What was even better was the deep love and chemistry that you could feel between Kelly + Robert. I love love.

From first date to wedding date, it was a quick and exciting nine months for Kelly and Robert. When they signed up for a co-ed softball league, who knew it would lead to all this?! Ten years, two college degrees, twelve jobs, five houses, two adoptions, one miracle baby – yet there’s so much more life ahead for these two.

What is the most awesome thing about your marriage?
Our willingness to fight for each other and overcome the struggles life has thrown our way. To see the good in each other and lift each other up in love. Oh, and our secret handshake!!

What advice would you give an engaged couple?
– Commit wholeheartedly to each other, speak kindly, forgive easily, and laugh often. Always prioritize each other and date each other often. Be selfless, be present, be willing to adapt. Always remember who you fell in love with and enjoy growing old together!!

One of the things that completely sold me on working with the teams at The Big Fake Wedding is their commitment to promoting healthy, happy, and lasting marriages; not just inspiring people to live out their wedding day fantasies. It would be so easy for them to say “Great, thanks for coming, good luck with that whole being together forever thing.” I believe that as a professional who witnesses dozens of weddings each year and who works to build a relationship with each of my wedding couples, that it is so important for me (and my fellow creative vendors) to encourage those couples in their marriages. One of the ways that I believe I can do this professionally is to give their wedding photography my full attention, deepest care, as well as being a calm and confident fixture on what can be a very stressful day. My wedding day goal: Bride-chilla. …not Bride-zilla.

Now you might be asking, “Why would you want to photograph an event in Phoenix? You’re an Oregon photographer!”

Well let’s just say that while I LOOOOOOVE OREGON and would never dream of living anywhere else; I also love working in new places, I love to travel, and I love love love the American Southwest desert. Phoenix in particular has an exactly opposite wedding season to Oregon and the PNW. The majority of weddings in the Pacific Northwest happen from mid-May through September; in Phoenix their weddings happen from October through April. Nobody there wants to get married when it’s 110 degrees! …just like nobody here wants to get married when it’s cold and rainy. Although on a side note I’ve been really impressed with the number of off-season weddings that have been happening over the last year or two. So then, back on topic, it only makes sense for me, in an attempt to work comfortable year-round, to open up my services to Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah.

Enjoy!

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Luxe Bridal Event 2015 | Bridal Show Sponsoring Photographer

As I mentioned when posting about  Marry Me! 2015, this year has been a whirlwind.

It seems like the universe replied, “Challenge accepted!” when I asked if this year could get any worse. Pro Tip: NEVER ask that question. The answer is always “Yes.” In the couple months since Marry Me! I’ve continued to be met by obstacle after sickness after obstacle. As the year progresses, I am doing my best to hold on to the optimism that ended 2014 . The key to this, especially when the universe throws a solid 1-2 punch, has been community. Community over competition. I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle with negative competition… in fact, I’m the most competitive! Competition isn’t always a bad thing, in fact positive competition can be a great motivator to reach new goals and do better than you did before. But when it’s based in fear it only produces isolation and destruction, neither of which is good for one’s spirit, creativity, or business. A few years ago I was called out on my negative-competition attitude by a co-worker, her honesty floored me.  First I was baffled that she would DARE say such a thing to me… at my house even! But I already knew that it was true and knew why I let my pride and hostility target her; I was afraid. She intimidated the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks out of me. I’ve generally found myself to be intimidated by women who are confident, accomplished, fill-in-the-blank thing more than me, and it was all based in fear. Fear that I wasn’t the best at fill-in-the-blank task, fear that I wasn’t as well like as fill-in-the-blank person, fear of fear.  I know what you’re thinking, what does ANY of this have to do with a bridal show?  I’m getting there…

Community. Community is the best thing for the creative world. It’s grown exponentially (not geometrically, yes I know the difference) in the last 5 years for photographers in particular, and produced a strong adapt or die response. Creatives everywhere are saying “We’re tired of the haters!” “We want good vibes only!” “Community Over Competition!” “We’re stronger together!” “No more trash talk!” “There’s enough work for everyone!” Of course community doesn’t mean that everyone has to love everyone else’s work, or like them personally, but let’s keep it professional and keep the malicious comments to ourselves. Fear would tell me that I need to bring other photogs down to boost myself up. That I need to be the best at everything for everyone all the time. Well… Fear is a LIAR!

Photography is a HIGHLY competitive industry. Like most creative fields your success relies on several elements, which can vary in proportion from person to person, that are both of the professional AND the personal. In the creative world networking, contacts, and personal relationships can play a huge part in getting started in a new city, specializing, or branching out. You have to be ON all the time and honestly, it’s exhausting. Bridal shows are a compacted version of this everyday web we weave and making a good impression on prospective brides + grooms, fellow photographers, and other vendors is critical…

At the end of February I had the wonderful experience of working with the team from Luxe Event Productions on another show – Luxe Bridal Event at Castaway.  What I love most about working with them is their sense of community and family. Their shows are “Good Vibes Only” zones and we are all encouraged to share, collaborate, and build relationships. Guests are encouraged to talk with everyone and are the room is set up to guide them through the entire space. The Luxe shows are each known for their own special feature. Marry Me! had cakes, Committed (October) has alternative fashion, and Luxe Bridal Event had FLOWERS! Aside from their regular participants, the Luxe show features three of the top florist each with 10 breathtaking bouquets. A fashion parade, full bar, lounge area, sweetheart table display, and tons of natural light made this one of the most beautiful shows I’ve ever seen. Misty and her team pride themselves on working with the best vendors for their shows while featuring small independent businesses …just watch them grow! As the Detail Photography Sponsor it was my job to get close and show off the layers, textures, and lines of each participant’s space. Let’s just say there was no shortage of material to work with. Enjoy!

P.S. Many thanks to my AMAZING assistant, Jessica Lazar, for well… being so amazing!

Luxe Bridal Event Bramble Floral Design Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Bramble Floral Design Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Bramble Floral Design Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Bramble Floral Design Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Bramble Floral Design Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Bramble Floral Design Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Bramble Floral Design Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Bramble Floral Design Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Bramble Floral Design Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Bramble Floral Design Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Geranium Lake Flowers Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Geranium Lake Flowers Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Geranium Lake Flowers Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Geranium Lake Flowers Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Geranium Lake Flowers Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Geranium Lake Flowers Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Geranium Lake Flowers Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Geranium Lake Flowers Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Geranium Lake Flowers Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Geranium Lake Flowers Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Hardcore Florist Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Hardcore Florist Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Hardcore Florist Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Hardcore Florist Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Hardcore Florist Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Hardcore Florist Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Hardcore Florist Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Hardcore Florist Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Hardcore Florist Bouquet Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Sweetheart Table Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Fashion Parade Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Fashion Parade Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Fashion Parade Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Fashion Parade Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Fashion Parade Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Fashion Parade Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Fashion Parade Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Fashion Parade Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland Luxe Bridal Event Castaway Portland

 

Reminder: In the Fall I get to travel to Seattle and Phoenix to participate in two Big Fake Wedding events!!! This national tour is a different take on the whole bridal show concept. If you’re in any service based industry – like wedding photography – you know that your best clients come from direct referrals from past/repeat clients or those who have seen you in action [ie bridesmaids, groom’s parents, etc]. The Big Fake Wedding [formally The Not Wedding] events offer that connection in the form of a stylized vow renewal for an established couple where the guests are engaged couples and their friends …just like a bridal show. The guests get to see you in action, talk with you, and get a strong impression of whether you’d be a good match for their wedding. OMG how had I never heard about this until just a few months ago?!? As you may recall from a previous post, I’ve opened my photography services to the Southwest [Arizona + New Mexico in particular]. Having the opportunity to make professional connections in Phoenix AND shoot a Big Fake Wedding is a marketing dream come true. …and who wouldn’t want to work in Seattle at every possible opportunity, amirite?! If you’re in either location… or want to road-trip it you should come party with us!

Engaged? Congratulations!!!
I am booked for summer 2015, but perhaps you’re planning a romantically snowy or island destination wedding this winter? If you’re special day is in between Oct 24th-Dec 31st I’d love to hear from you! I’m also now reserving dates for 2016… tell me your love story.

Marry Me! Portland 2015 | Bridal Show Sponsoring Photographer I

2015 has been a whirlwind already… and it’s only mid-February.

Business wise 2015 was looking really good at the end of last year, but my personal life decided that I shouldn’t have too much of a good thing and threw a hugely painful, sad, and sick January my way. With February came a determination to reclaim the awesome 2015 that I was excited for and my efforts have been rewarded with fun engagement sessions, beautiful weather, and a host of new weddings booked for the summer.

One of the exciting things that 2015 had/has in store of me is participating in FOUR bridal shows as a sponsoring photographer.

My first was toward the end of January – Marry Me! hosted by Luxe Event Productions at the Embassy Suites PDX Ballroom. This weekend I’m back in Portland for The Luxe Bridal Event, also hosted by the lovelies at Luxe Event Productions, at Castaway. Each of these shows has their own special feature. Marry Me! has the largest assembled cake display, two fashion shows, and on day two hosts wedding planning consults with the Luxe Team. The Luxe Bridal Event will have the largest bouquet display, designer dress parade, and a beauty + lash bar. #swoon

In the Fall I get to travel to Seattle and Phoenix to participate in two Big Fake Wedding events!!! This national tour is a different take on the whole bridal show concept. If you’re in any service based industry – like wedding photography – you know that your best clients come from direct referrals from past/repeat clients or those who have seen you in action [ie bridesmaids, groom’s parents, etc]. The Big Fake Wedding [formally The Not Wedding] events offer that connection in the form of a stylized vow renewal for an established couple where the guests are engaged couples and their friends …just like a bridal show. The guests get to see you in action, talk with you, and get a strong impression of whether you’d be a good match for their wedding. OMG how had I never heard about this until just a few months ago?!? As you may recall from a previous post, I’ve opened my photography services to the Southwest [Arizona + New Mexico in particular]. Having the opportunity to make professional connections in Phoenix AND shoot a Big Fake Wedding is a marketing dream come true. …and who wouldn’t want to work in Seattle at every possible opportunity, amirite?! If you’re in either location… or want to road-trip it you should come party with us!

 

For Marry Me! 2015 I was assigned “Details” …so here they are. Enjoy!

models getting ready portland make up and hair marry me black and white stripped tent with rose pedal runner stylized sweetheart table display by luxe event productions macaroon cookies with love is sweet by rosycakes floral detail by luepke flowers and finds homemade mobile ice cream cart by ruby jewel stylized floral sweetheart table display by classic vintage rentals gifford's flowers booth and details vintage eat sign white and gold sweetheart table setting rustic cabin sweetheart table display by barclay designs country cake shop  booth ania boutique designer wedding dresses simple classic sweetheart table display by embassy suites pdx DM custom shoes booth and details mr formal booth and details steele photography booth john ross music booth details awe coordination and design booth lux sucre desserts cakes booth and details infinitus imagery booth bliss bake shoppe cupcakes and arrow napkins portland bee balm booth and details mary boyden photography booth and details colored ribbons for chair covers stumptown photo booth catering details officiant heather ann mack supports love event puppy hair accessories by serephine portland bride and groom magazine happy matic photo booth deatils atelier pictures details new moon photography album details wedding gown sale room bride looking at dresses detail assembled cake display for marry me 2015 hunger games themed wedding cake wedding cake detail by rosycakes wedding cake detail by rosycakes wedding cake detail by rosycakes wedding cake detail by rosycakes wedding cake detail by country cake shop wedding cake detail by country cake shop wedding cake detail by country cake shop wedding cake detail by country cake shop wedding cake detail by country cake shop marry me 2015 fashion show details floral cannon marry me 2015 fashion show details marry me 2015 fashion show details marry me 2015 fashion show details marry me 2015 fashion show details marry me 2015 fashion show details marry me 2015 fashion show details bridal model wearing small over the eyes veil the perfect occasion floral details the perfect occasion floral details the perfect occasion floral details the perfect occasion floral details the perfect occasion floral booth details

NEW BRANDING FOR AMANDA PHOTOGRAPHIC!

So excited to finally reveal my brand new look for Amanda Photographic!
I’ve wanted new branding… or really any consistent branding at all for what feels like forever. The problem was that I wanted too many things all at once, things that were mutually exclusive, or just felt dissatisfied with what I could come up with. Enter Brianna Bulski of Little Arrow Studio. Ahhhhh!!!

We had a wonderful phone conversation, followed by a date at Off the Waffle [heaven] to get the ball rolling. I knew that I was in good hands, not only because of her insane amount of experience, but also because she “got it”… she “got me”! I proofed and critiqued the first round of ideas, then BAM! Brianna nailed the rest of it in one amazing swoop. If you’re looking to revamp your branding she’s definitely your gal.

Amanda Photographic Branding by Little Arrow Studio logo Amanda Photographic Branding by Little Arrow Studio Letterform Mark Amanda Photographic Branding by Little Arrow Studio pictorial mark Amanda Photographic Branding by Little Arrow Studio color palette

 

Now Booking for 2015 …and other fun announcements!

photo booth fun oregon wedding photography

Reunion of Awesome II – Photos by Alex Huff

As you can clearly see 2014 was MUCH better than 2013 [the year of sadness].
With the new year upon us it’s time to reflect and plan for the next 12 – or in some cases 18 – months. Many people set new year’s resolutions that are, let’s be honest, unreasonable. I prefer resolutions like “wear lipstick more often” and “find a bra that ACTUALLY fits” …the struggle is real, gentlemen. It’s also important to set goals and resolutions for a business. Even more so these goals need to be S.M.A.R.T goals – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, Time-bound – in order to be effective. I usually think of my resolutions after the new year has already started, which it isn’t necessary to start on January 1st but it does make it easier to keep track of, and I feel like I have to play catch-up. Well not this time! This time I planned ahead [GASP!] and I’m ready to tackle 2015 with all of my Aries fire!!!

For 2015 my personal goals are >>>

  • Stick with Crossfit and go to my box 3x/week.
  • Read 6 new (to me) books.
  • Keep an honest journal.
  • …and I’m still looking for that mythical well-fitting bra.

For 2015 my business goals are >>>

  • Blog at least 2x/week.
  • Stay on top of bookkeeping [ugh].
  • Photograph 15+ weddings.
  • Photograph 25+ high school seniors.
  • Travel to 3 new places.

Travel Photography Gila Mountain Cliff Dwellings, New Mexico

With the new year brings new adventures and a big one for my business will be spending more time in the Southwest. I’m not sure why it had not previously occurred to me that I could have not one, but TWO regions to photograph weddings in. …Especially when their “wedding seasons” are the exact opposite of each other. So for 2015 I have opened my booking to be readily available for weddings in Arizona and New Mexico [primarily] as well as Nevada, Utah, and Southwest Colorado. While my heart will always belong to the PNW, I now hold a special place for the desert and its beauty. I’m sure the inquiries will be slow at first, but hopefully not too slow. 😉

A few weeks ago I posted to social media that I had some BIG announcements… I also prefaced it with that I am not engaged or pregnant [sorry folks] to make the waiting a little easier to bare. Well it’s time to announce!
Firstly, I spent part of December working with Brianna Bulski of Little Arrow Studio to re-brand my business. The great reveal is coming shortly [Tuesday January 6th if you want to mark your calendars] and will be across all my print and web presence. Brianna and I have given a couple sneak peeks on instagram, and I’m SUPER excited for it to take and unify my visual media.
To start off my new year with some more fun I am participating as a sponsoring photographer for the Marry Me! [Jan 24 + 25] and Luxe Bridal Event [Feb 22] bridal shows in Portland. The gals over at Luxe Events have been very welcoming and I am eager to work with them again in a more official capacity. Being a sponsoring photographer isn’t just spending more to get press from them… no, I will not have a booth space [too salesy for me] and instead will be photographing sections of the shows. These events are always sooooo beautiful and my imagery will be used to promote the events for the following year [as well as myself, duh].
Marry Me and Luxe Bridal Event Portland Oregon Wedding Photography
Lastly a really really exciting thing that is happening toward the end of 2015 is that I have been accepted as a photographer for TWO Big Fake Wedding events!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! The Big Fake Wedding [formerly The Not Wedding] is a national tour that is an interactive alternative to bridal shows. Instead of booth after booth of wedding vendors this is REAL “fake” wedding… actually it’s a vow renewal for a rockin’ established couple. The guests are engaged couples and their friends who then can watch curated wedding vendors IN ACTION, share in this couple’s celebration, and dance the night away! How cool is that!?!? The application process, as you might imagine, is quite lengthy, especially compared to regular bridal shows and …wow I’m just so thrilled to be working with this love-centric team! The Big Fake Wedding team also spend a good amount of time promoting strong marriages, not just fancy weddings, and that is what absolutely sealed the deal for me. I will be photographing a Big Fake Wedding at MonOrchid in Phoenix, AZ in September AND the Space Needle in Seattle, WA in October. I’m kinda freakin’ out here.

Seattle Washington and Phoenix Arizona Wedding Photography

Photo by Josie K Photography

So there you have it my BIG announcements and goals for 2015. I can’t wait to get started on everything and have a great year working with so many new and wonderful people. Happy New Year!!

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

Was there a little bling, some sparkle, underneath your Christmas tree? I would love to get coffee with you and hear all your wedding plans. Amanda Photographic is available for Pacific Northwest and Southwest weddings all year – Summer 2015 wedding dates are filling quickly. Contact me today for details, booking, and that cup of coffee!

How to be the bestest Wedding Party member ever…

Bridesmaids + Groomsmen are a traditional staple to any wedding. This is an opportunity for the lucky couple to include those closest to them in one of the biggest days of their lives and an opportunity for you to ROCK it! Being a member of the wedding party comes with responsibilities, none of which should be taken lightly, and all of which can greatly impact the overall success of the day. So here’s a handy list of ways that you can help your BFF’s special day be as smoooooooooooth and stress-free as possible.

Help keep things on schedule…
This is your MOST important job. Usually, a wedding planner or venue coordinator will be make sure that everything is running smoothly, but it’s your responsibility to be present + ready ON TIME …hey, even a little early won’t hurt anyone’s feelings. Be sure to get a copy of the wedding-day timeline from the coordinator or photographer the day before so that you’re able to gently nudge the appropriate people if things start to get delayed.

Run interference…
There are going to be A LOT of people who want to talk to the couple on their wedding day, but they need to focus on each other and guests. Wedding party members should serve as point people for questions (for example, “Where’s the restroom?” “Is there a guest book?”) or help move them away from anyone who might be causing stress or anxiety. The overbearing Great Aunt who just won’t let them get on with their family portraits… step in and help keep her occupied so that the couple can stay on time = less stress = more fun.

Hold stuff…
This one is more for the ladies. It’s important to have a small “emergency kit” on hand. Prepare a clutch filled with your essentials (phone, lipstick, dental floss, hair pins, needle + thread, etc.), assign someone to keep track of it during the ceremony and reception. Should the bride need any of the items during the wedding day, she’ll know exactly who to turn to.

Do the right thing…
The sign of a true friend is someone who will immediately pull you aside and tell you that you have food stuck in your teeth. And that’s exactly what wedding party folks need to do for the couple, who should look their best at all times. So whether it’s a lipstick smudge on the cheek, her dress is out of place, or a collar needs to be adjusted, help them fix it ASAP. The coordinator + photographer will be keeping their eyes peeled also, but let’s face it, there’s A LOT to keep track of and everyone can use a little help.

Help the bride go to the bathroom…
Again, this is one for the ladies. Going to the restroom in a big ol’ wedding gown isn’t easy – so she’ll certainly need an assistant or two to help. There’s no need to be shy here ladies – just get it done! Wedding Dress + Bathroom Hack >>> here.

Be a calming force…
There may be some stressful moments throughout the wedding day, and it’s your job to make sure the couple doesn’t get swept up in the potential madness. Arrange ahead of time which of your will be in charge of gathering family members for photos, pinning boutonnieres, getting coffee, etc. Scattering is the enemy = Planning ahead is your new bestie.

Maintain an attentive, happy expression during the processional, ceremony, and recessional.
There is nothing worse for ceremony photographs than grumpy looking faces. You probably won’t even realize that you’re doing it. Maybe it’s really bright, you’re hungry, uncomfortable, or maybe it’s none of these things and you’re just focusing on the task at hand. Either way do your best to remember the following tips for a happy looking wedding party: 1. Look forward to the couple whenever possible – not at the ground or photographer. 2. Don’t lock out your knees. 3. Smile. Enjoy the ceremony and all the wonderful emotions that go with seeing your friends tie the knot. 4. It’s totally ok to cry. …just don’t hold your breath.

Make sure everyone eats…
Eating may be the last thing on their minds during the reception, but it’s important that they do… promptly. If you arrive to the reception before the couple make up a pair of small plates for them so they don’t have to leave their table to get food. Help keep guests at bay so they have a chance to eat + relax without being interrupted. Don’t forget about yourself and your fellow wedding party member. 🙂

First on, last off the dance floor…
Bridesmaids and groomsmen act as the epitomes of “party people” throughout the celebration and serve as examples to other guests. You should be mainstays on the dance floor, but also listen attentively to the speeches and be present for the cake cutting and other important events. If a family member or table looks lonely be sure to include them in some conversation and thank them for attending.

Keep track of gifts…
Whether a gift table is set up or not, there is a strong likelihood that guests will be handing the couple gifts + cards throughout the day. A wedding party member should be assigned the role of “Gift Keeper,” making sure that all the gifts get to a safe place. Also arrange where the gifts will go at the end of the night and let the Gift Keeper load up the appropriate vehicle after dinner.

Until they shut it down…
If possible, wedding party members should be among the last to leave the celebration and should make sure any end-of-the-night details are taken care of before heading home.

Did your BFF just ask you to be their Best Man or MOH? Congratulations! Please visit my Dream Weddings page for information on booking Amanda Photographic for authentic, storytelling, and thoughtful wedding photography.

 

Abby’s Table | A Social Dinner Experience

If you’ve ever wanted to cook side-by-side with a world class chef then you have to reserve one of Abby Fammartino’s “Cook With” Participation Dinners.

Basic concept: Gather together somewhere around 6-8 of your favorite people – friends, family, co workers, etc – and host a Cook With Dinner Party. It’s a hands on, three course dinner, using in-season, whole foods with the menu designed by and the guidance of a professional chef. AMAZING! Did you know that you can sub pureed roasted rhubarb for tomatoes in ratatouille? Sure can!

Abby Fammartino was a private chef before starting Abby’s Table. Many of her clients had sever food allergies that made it difficult for them to eat out with friends, but this gave Abby a unique opportunity to expand her culinary skills and develop recipes for cooking “allergy-free” (no gluten, dairy, or soy). She now hosts private dinners, cooking lessons, Cook With Participation Dinners, as well as catering all over the Pacific Northwest. Abby believes that creating a positive social engagement around cooking and eating is good for us; and that nothing does it better than cooking with local ingredients from scratch!

I was fortunate enough to be asked to photograph a Cook With dinner hosted in part by Nadine Grzeskowiak – our local Gluten Free RN and Celiac Disease expert. It was amazing to watch six participants, plus Abby, work together in one kitchen to make a delicious meal. The menu was like nothing I’d ever seen, with the exception of the green salad: Beet Fritters with Chive (Cashew) Sour Cream, Wild Fish with Fennel-Walnut Tapenade and Crispy Bacon, Spring Ratatouille with Roasted Rhubarb, Green Salad with Snap Peas and Lavender Vinaigrette. …and for dessert: Chocolate Mousse with Ginger Tuiles and Strawberries. YUM!!!!!

You can follow Abby on her Abby’s Table Facebook, Instagram, or go to her webpage to sign up for her awesome newsletter.

5 Helpful Wedding Planning Tips | A Photographer’s Perspecitve

As someone who attends A LOT of weddings I’m starting to feel like a bit of an authority on what is realistic to expect from your big day. There are lots of different styles and ways to celebrate your new commitment and life together, but those differences don’t stop certain inevitable truths from rearing their sometimes ugly heads. I’m actually not very good at writing intros, so I’m just going to get to my 5 helpful wedding planning tips… hopefully they’ll save you some headache and grief.

1. Have a honest conversation with your partner about what is most important to you for your upcoming wedding. This is really important to do early. It will determine a lot about where you focus your time, efforts, helpers, and money. Odds are that your partner thinks that their priorities are standard, obvious to you, or the same as yours …so talk about it early to avoid awkward moments later. Once you’ve established what’s most important to you as individuals you can start to work on what is most important to you as a couple and where you’re willing to compromise if you disagree. Maybe it’s really important to the groom that he not see the bride before the wedding (he’s just old fashioned that way), or perhaps it’s important that all the out-of-state family can come without worrying about paying for hotel rooms. After you’ve really decided what’s important to you as a couple, try to stick to 5 really important things – more than that is too overwhelming, you’ll have an easier time asking friends and family for help and…

two grooms who DIY planned their entire wedding on the oregon coast

2. Have clear boundaries with friends and (especially) family on wedding planning decisions. There’s nothing worse for a couple than watching, helplessly, as someone else takes over planning their wedding in a way that doesn’t meet their priorities, values, or budget. Family members often think that they have an equal say in decision making, especially if they’re contributing financially, but when ideas start to conflict it’s ultimately up to the couple to decide what to do. This can put the couple in a very bad place during an already stressful time, particularly if the conflicts are coming from both sides of the families. It is also important to be prepared to decline help or financial assistance if you suspect it will cause trouble for you down the road. Need more help with this one? Try some of the advice on Off-Beat Bride.

head table settings with drinks, name tags, and center pieces with apple trees at lawn reception

3. Choose your wedding party carefully. This one is very difficult, but the guys and gals you choose for your wedding party can make or break your wedding day experience. I actually think this is one of the more important decisions you’ll make. Just because you’ve been BFFs since you were 6 doesn’t mean that someone is available or capable of being a good Maid of Honor (MOH)/Bridesmaid or Best Man/Groomsman. Your MOH and Best Man have actual responsibilities for your pre-wedding and wedding day. Your MOH is responsible for holding your partner’s ring, hosting (that includes paying for stuff) your bridal shower/bachelorette party, giving a heart felt toast during your reception, and basically being your right-hand lady that WHOLE DAY. The Best Man is responsible for the same respective duties in addition to having a pocket full of checks to pay your vendors. You entire wedding party is responsible for purchasing their clothes (rentals?), shoes, hair, and make-up; helping you put together invitations/party favors/programs, they need to be able to stand during your service without suffering from Grumpy Resting Face, they need to be first on and last off the dance floor, no drama/too much drinking/inappropriate behavior (keep it Grandma friendly), and most importantly they need to be able to afford to do all these things.  A not-so-awesome wedding party will sew chaos… While a good wedding party will help you create some of the strongest bonds and best memories from your wedding day.

 

happy wedding party at marylhurst university during formal portraits in february

4. Hire Professionals & Do Your Research. Call me crazy, but there are people out there who PROFESSIONALLY do all the things you need done for your wedding day. Planning/Coordination, Catering, Bartending, Photographer (wink), Videographer, Florists, DJ/MC, Graphic Designers/Paper Goods, Seamstresses/Tailors, Hair & Make-up Artists, Bakery/Cake, Officiant… really the list goes on and on. A professional knows what they’re doing and doesn’t need to you to do their job for them – that didn’t sound right. …What I meant to say is that a pro doesn’t need a babysitter. You can trust them to do a GREAT job at what you hired them for, act professionally, and follow through with you. We all understand that budgets are budgets and that there isn’t always the funds to hire everyone you’d like to, this is where tip #1 comes in. If it’s important to you that your day goes smoothly and that people aren’t coming up to you with questions all day then it would be a very good idea to hire a planner/coordinator. Most of them offer day-of service if you can only afford for them to be there on your actual wedding day and trust me they are totally worth it! There are lots of ways to cut costs when planning your wedding, but please remember that there are always consequences. Sometimes you’re fine with the consequences, others not so much. Lastly, just because you could do something on your own doesn’t mean it’s worth the time, hassle, and money that it will cost you.

custom sparkly cupcakes with small round wedding cakes at small english garden style wedding

5. Plan a “Slow Wedding”. This is more of a two-parter. The number one complaint that I hear from newly weds is that the day went by so quickly that they didn’t get a chance to take it all in. The concept of a “Slow Wedding” is based on the Slow Food movement. The Slow Food movement brought focus to the means in which we produce food, it’s quality, textures, and tastes. It focuses on food as pleasure, food as a central part of our lives, food as quality not as quantity. Similarly a Slow Wedding focuses on a few key elements that are, once again, most important to you. Plan for and manage those elements well and REALLY enjoy your day. Two specific things that I feel help this taking care of your group photography before your service and have some private time for just yourselves immediately after your service. Getting the bulk of your formal portraits handled before your service is nice because everyone is fresh, excited, cooperative, and there are fewer people around to distract from the task at hand. Having some private time immediately after your service gives YOU, the couple, time to just be together. It’s also a good time to eat, use the bathroom, and breathe. I also believe that Unplugged Weddings are in the same spirit as Slow Weddings. Encouraging your guests to put away their phones and cameras to be with you, especially during your service, completely changes the feel of your day. It’s more personal, more present, and more polite.

beautiful bride and groom after their slow wedding ceremony had time for portraits on the beach

Ready to hire a professional photographer for your own amazing wedding? Contact me for full details + booking today!

1000 Facebook Fans Giveaway!!!

Hooray!!!!! I reached 1000 fans on my Amanda Photographic facebook page!

Thank you for all the love 🙂 And to show you how appreciative I am, I will be hosting a contest for the rest of April to giveaway a stylized portrait session. What’s a stylized session you ask? It simply means that we will work to boost the creativity and quality of your session with any of the following: props, travel, activities, salon time, and bringing in other creatives to design your session. This type of session is great fun for everyone and I hope that you’re as excited as I am!

ENTER TO WIN!!! >>> All 4 are required for entry.
1. Like my Amanda Photographic facebook page.
2. Comment on contest post with a funny joke.
3. Share image from contest post to tell others about the contest. (Must use ‘Share” button on fb)
4. Tell me you did the above steps by commenting on THIS blog post, be sure to include your email address.

BONUS ENTRIES >>> One additional entry per day, per step when available.
1. Follow me on Instagram.
2. Share the contest image on your own Instagram. Tag @amandaphotographic and #amandaphotographiccontest
3. Tweet about it. Tag @amandafotogphic and #amandaphotographiccontest
4. Share my Amanda Photographic facebook page on your profile.

Contest ends 11:59pm on Wednesday April 30th. Winner will be announced and contacted by email on Friday May 2nd!

 

THE FINE PRINT:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

  1. Promotion Description: 1000 Fans Stylized Portrait Session Giveaway begins on 04/08/14  and ends on 04/30/14 at 11:59 PM (Pacific Time (US & Canada)) (the “Promotion Period”). By participating in the Giveaway, each entrant unconditionally accepts and agrees to comply with and abide by these Official Rules and the decisions of Amanda Photographic (“Sponsor”), which shall be final and binding in all respects. Sponsor is responsible for the collection, submission or processing of Entries and the overall administration of the giveaway. Entrants should look solely to Sponsor with any questions, comments or problems related to the Giveaway.
  2. Eligibility: Open to legal residents of USA & Canada, who are 18 or older. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
  3. Winner Selection: The winner of the Giveaway will be selected in a random drawing from among all eligible Entries received throughout the Promotion Period. The random drawing will be conducted by Sponsor, whose decisions are final. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible Entries received. Winner will be notified by email at the email address provided in the Entry Information on 05/02/14. Potential winner must accept a prize by email as directed by Sponsor within 48 hours of notification. Any winner notification not responded to or returned as undelivered may result in prize forfeiture. The potential prize winner may be required to sign and return an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability, and a Publicity Release (collectively “the Prize Claim Documents”). No substitution or transfer of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor.
  4. Session Location: Stylized Portrait Session will be held within 90 miles of Corvallis, Oregon. Winner may purchase additional mileage to have session in a location of their choosing.
  5. Online Entry: Enter the Giveaway during the Promotion Period online by signing into the entry form and perform the tasks provided.Automated or robotic Entries submitted by individuals or organizations will be disqualified. Internet entry must be made by the entrant. Any attempt by an entrant to obtain more than the stated number of Entries by using multiple/different email addresses, identities, registrations, logins or any other methods, including, but not limited to, commercial contest/sweepstakes subscription notification and/or entering services, will void that entrant’s Entries and that entrant may be disqualified. Final eligibility for the award of any prize is subject to eligibility verification as set forth below. All Entries must be posted by the end of the Promotion Period in order to participate. Sponsor’s database clock will be the official time keeper for this Giveaway.
  6. Privacy: All entrants acknowledge that if they are chosen as a winner, certain of their personally identifying information may be disclosed to third parties at least as required by law, including, without limitation, on a winner’s list.
  7. Limitation of Liability: Sponsor is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Giveaway or by any technical or human error, which may occur in the processing of submissions in the Giveaway. Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any misdirected or lost mail, or any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay of operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, Entries. Sponsor is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer online systems, servers or providers, computer equipment, software, failure of email or players on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website or combination thereof, including injury or damage to entrant’s or any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating downloading materials in the Giveaway. If, for any reason, the Giveaway is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes beyond the control of Sponsor which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the Giveaway, then Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Giveaway. In such event, Sponsor may, in its sole discretion, perform the random drawing from among all eligible Entries received prior to or after such cancellation, suspension, or modification.
  8. Facebook Disclaimer: Entrants should understand that they are providing their information to the Sponsor and not to Facebook. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook.