Let me go onto the record and say I would be thee worst car salesman and I have never been great a self-promotion. So, at the bridal shows I display my work, give a basic overview of what I offer and talk as much as I feel the group in front of me wants to hear me gab. The last thing I try and do is convince someone that they need me to be their photographer. I just have always felt that if someone connects with my photography style, my personality, and our services fit within the budget then entering the business side of the transaction becomes the natural next step. I met Brittni for the first time at the bustling winter session of The Ultimate Bridal Show in Southern Oregon. We had the initial conversation and natural beauty always strikes me. She wasn’t overdone, fake or snooty- but definitely gorgeous! Of course I wanted her to love our work and book us, but I also wanted to know that if she booked with us it was solely because she felt we were the best match for her and her fiance. She circled the show several times and each time with questions that showed depth to her decision. I was certain when she left without booking with me that she had found a match in someone else, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email a few days later to set up a meeting. When she booked with us and we started talking about her engagement session I grew incredibly excited about her vision meeting my camera. She told me her fiance, Travis, owns this exquisite antique car that she wanted to incorporate on their beautiful farm land. I will be honest people have spoken highly of their homes or cars before and they haven’t always been up to the caliber of their praise- so I have learned to lean lightly on my expectations and hope for the best. Her boasting was modest if anything. In my photography world, sweet dreams are made of these: beautiful couples, dreamy light, amazing (or beyond amazing) props, and a backdrop to tie it all back together!
They were so sweet together and even though they said they didn’t know how to “pose” I called their bluff- they moved together flawlessly! The car itself pulls out some romance, and even though these might be a little forward for some I believe there is still enough room for classy “heat”.
The only thing I was leery of this entire shoot was running into a snake…I hate snakes!!! As we made our way down to the little river I was shaking in my boots. It was worth it and no snakes to encounter that day thank goodness!
Then the dreamy light poking through the perfectly placed trees that laid just behind the patch of coveted long grass. Pinterest is jealous!
I always get nervous for shoots. This isn’t founded in self-doubt but rooted in a self-expectation to go beyond a photograph and seize emotion. As we got to the end of the session I felt my nerves ease up and I knew we had captured something spectacular throughout.
Travis and Brittni you are a beautiful couple and thank you for entrusting us to record this time in your life. We cannot wait for your wedding day!!! ❤
I met Eryne as a fellow vendor in our bridal show. She was with a cross-fit group and their booth was electric with personality. If I hadn’t been pregnant at the time I would have joined the gym…but I’m always pregnant so who was I kidding?! By the next show Eryne strolled in not as a vendor, but as a soon to be bride!!! She booked with us immediately and I was ecstatic! She is beautiful, but beyond that I love her demeanor and sense of humor not to mention a smile that lights up the room. I always get the best brides, but I definitely felt like I was winning the lottery.
A few months later, I met up with her, her fiance James, and his two stunning kids in the historical town of Jacksonville. Sometimes it takes kids a little bit to warm up to new people, but these kids were AWESOME! I could tell it wasn’t going to feel much like work and more of fun afternoon that I happened to bring my camera to.
As I had already assumed it didn’t take much for Eryne’s genuine smile to surface and James knew how to draw it out of her in a moments’ time.
This couple couldn’t take a bad picture if they tried! Even when their faces couldn’t be seen you could feel the “happy” radiating.
The structures in this town always make me giddy and the old wood and brickwork make for such amazing backdrops. Love the texture that it provides and how it makes this couple stand out even more.
We snuck in a couple of family pictures and a few of proud daddy with each of his kids. I think they’re keepers! 😉
Something about this moss covered fence always has my number. I also like that we only moved 50 feet and it looks like we went to a whole new land of amazing! Oh, and if you ever meet Eryne…don’t let her tell you she doesn’t know how to be an actress. Hollywood- you should send your recruits…so you know that will remain an inside joke. 😉
I feel like this entire session made my cheeks hurt I laughed so much. This moment may have been at the helm of a joke that was a wee bit in the gutter, sorry… not sorry…also staying an inside joke. 😉
We rounded out our session back at a flight of stairs that was plagued by all the wrong kind of light earlier, but at the end was perfect.
I cannot wait to see this couple say their vows and make this whole shebang official! ❤ ❤ ❤
Much of this summer Oregon was on fire! I wish I could say that in a punny sort of way but literally Oregon’s timber was ablaze in far too many places. A week before Vernon & Kim’s wedding there was a fire that was creeping close to their venue. Mixed emotions swirled but they decided to hold their breath and hope for the best. As I was driving up for the wedding a large signed blared in bright green letters, “Hwy 138 closed- No detour”. With a lump in my throat, I looked and relooked at my directions. Sure enough the destination of the wedding was up Hwy 138. Trying not to panic or get in a wreck I drove to good reception and called my good friend and DJ for the wedding. She was a few miles ahead of me and reassured me that we were 10 miles from the road closure. I sighed with relief, but then my overactive imagination started to kick in. 10 miles? How fast do forest fires travel? Google, a little help here! Poor reception and google was no help to me. Probably for the best, but just in case I had a plan for an epic forest fire wedding picture for them. Again, did I mention I have an overactive imagination?! As I got closer to my final destination the smoke was thick so I just started praying it would lift. Either way, the way my summer was shaping up smokey was my new soft box! I arrived at the tail end of Kim’s make-up session. She looked gorgeous! I grabbed her details and photographed them and was highly positive I was leaving with poison oak. Somehow I dodged that bullet and never ended up with it, but it was a price I was willing to pay to get great shots.
As I finished these details I noticed a shift in the air. The blanket of smoke had rose substantially but was still doing wonders for my light. The bridesmaids helped with the final preparations to Kim’s ensemble and we ushered the bride and groom to the deck to have a special moment of reveal. Kim looked stunning and I and the bridesmaids were tearfully watching as he caught his first glimpse of her. The way he looked at her made her radiate even more.
The natural scenery around the cabin was breathtaking and before we headed to the venue for the vows, I dos, and the kiss we had to take advantage of the picture opp.
Knowing they were a few minutes behind me I swung off the side of the road and grabbed a picture of the sign leading the guests to the venue. This simple but appointed sign set the mood and I knew I was in for a well done wedding. I was in love with the attention for detail yet keeping it uncluttered so the natural beauty was shining through. Picnic tables never looked so good and she sowed a button onto each tablecloth. Buttons are kind of my favorite and wood buttons make me smile wider. So to say the least Kim and I may be friends for life. Yes, a button spoke volumes to me, laugh all you want but it’s true. When someone comes out with a Facebook quiz of what button appeals to you and how it tells you what kind of people you gravitate to in friendships remember I said it mattered first.
The ceremony was beautiful. The arch that the Father of the Bride made matched the decor throughout the wedding: simple, impactful, and well executed. The minister was thoughtful and well spoken. Short and sweet and not too frilly but perfectly done. They sealed it with a kiss and it was complete.
As we finished the photos the gears started to shift towards the reception. I always love working with my friend, DJ Hope. She’s a true professional and keeps the party going. She readied the crowd to receive the bride and groom and the reception traditions began. Towards the end of my time I quietly snuck the couple down to the river for the final rendezvous of pictures. They took a moment to breathe deep, soak it all in and realize they were now Mr. & Mrs. Keel.
Congratulations Vernon & Kim! I hope you always walk hand in hand on wooded paths and bring joy to each others lives. Thank you again for choosing me to capture your special day… and for using wood buttons!
The current trend in weddings is over the top, Pinterest aspiring, prop filled craziness. Which if I’m honest I am a Pinterest addict so I get it on every level! However, I also love when a bride can pull off a simple and beautiful wedding that allows the guests to enjoy the day without running into every crepe paper pom-pom. Kelli did this perfectly and any detail she included was perfectly executed.
It was fun and witty but most important it was them.
It was the perfect combination of casual and elegant that kept this wedding simple yet satisfying.
The couple celebrated with their guests with good food and a great local mobile bar.
One of my favorite ideas was the tip jars to see if the bride or groom would receive the cake smashed in their face. I know that’s not for everyone…but for these two it was just perfect! The guests were thrilled to stack the deck and fill the groom’s jar so Kelli could decorate Chris’s face with white frosting.
A little bit of spice to keep it lively and a lot of sweet to keep the crowd ewwing and ahhing all night long. I have no doubts Chris and Kelli will be holding each other tight for the rest of their lives!
Congratulations Chris & Kelli!