Monthly Archives: January 2013
If you’re getting married in Oregon, rain is always in the equation. When you’re getting married on the Oregon Coast… well, let’s just say you should bring your sense of adventure. Thankfully, Russell and Jenelle handled the rain and cold with grace. That isn’t to say it wasn’t a complicating factor, or that sun wasn’t the preferred forecast. When she planned her wedding in this gorgeous state park on the Oregon Coast, I would assume Jenelle hoped for clear skies and warm breezes to go with the sweeping views of the sea, and the flowers in the pond (more on that in a moment). I would imagine, if you ask them, most brides will tell you that a wedding changes by the hour in the planning stage, and sometimes even faster the day of. Being light on your feet is a fantastic quality to have as a bride, and it certainly helps as a wedding photographer. Go with it. Roll with the punches. The details of your wedding are all important, seeing as how they all come together to create the vehicle to showcase your commitment to each other, but never forget this… saying “I Do” is the point. Not the perfect day, not the perfect weather, and the point is decidedly not to have everything go as planned. The point, to quote my talented friend, Caroline, is to look at each other and begin to “build a house within your heart.” Ultimately, Jenelle decided if it was going to rain, she could improvise. Bare feet, leg-warmers, and that pretty pond I mentioned earlier. She ditched the umbrella. Benj and I stood with our new friends in the rain and loved every single minute of it, even carrying 4 film cameras at a time. You can read Jenelle’s advice about weather and weddings in the winter/spring 2013 Portland Bride&Groom.
Life has a funny way of being unpredictable, as I’m sure most of us have experienced, and this wedding day was no exception. Just as we all made our peace with the weather… the speeches were given, the food was served, and the day was winding down, the sun broke through, even if it was only a bit. Being ready to go when the moment presents itself is half of having a sense of adventure. Closing out the day on the beach was the reward for Russell and Jenelle’s willingness to chase the sunshine. After all, life itself is a wonderful, albeit unpredictable adventure.
Russell and Jenelle, thanks for having me and Benj as a part of your adventure.
ENGAGEMENT VENUE – Shelton McMurphey Johnson House
VENUE – SHORE ACRES STATE PARK, COOS BAY OREGON
SECOND SHOOTER – Benj Haisch
A thousand thanks to my fellow bearded homie, Benj Haisch for shooting this wedding with me, film in the rain and all, not to mention all the creepy/great fun shooting double-exposure polaroids at the casino the night before 🙂 Your light leaks made my day.
To open 2013, I wanted to share one of my favorite weddings from 2012… slash, ever. Patty and Lino were so personal, I think that is the first thing I noticed when we talked during the initial consultation. That is the perfect word to describe the entire day. Personal. Their wedding was full of emotion, and family, tears, boisterous laughter, and the kind of moments a wedding photographer dreams of. This is one of the most memorable weddings I have ever had the pleasure of photographing, and that isn’t a slight against the others I have been a part of, it just had something extra to it that I really couldn’t describe if I wanted to. However, trying to put my finger on what it is that resonates with me, as well as the other weddings I feel this way about. I have come to this conclusion. Listen up, couples. I know this isn’t earth-shattering news… but, raw, honest emotion beats fancy details and killer venues every day of the week (although they had great locations, to boot). A genuine laugh gets more attention on my blog from other people than a $3000 dress does. Now, that isn’t to say that people don’t appreciate amazing locations and expensive dresses. Of course they do. The point is this, when recounting “favorite” weddings, they inevitably are the ones where people let go and feel things deeply, then let that emotion show. I posted a family portrait, which I have never done in a blog post, because I just couldn’t separate the pretty stuff from the personal stuff. Family felt as crucial to the story as anything else, just wait for the speeches and dancing. One word. Macarons. Patty gave her father a note stitched on a hankie… and I think Papi approved. The recipients of the garter and bouquet doing some sort of reverse garter removal. The dancing. Oh my, the dancing. My point is this. Couples (grooms!), love each other deeply and don’t be afraid to show it. Your great grandchildren will thank you as they thumb through your wedding images.
I’m not trying to preach. I’m trying to set the stage for how much I love this wedding, and these two people. Here are some things to be on the lookout for. Patty’s dress hanging in front of her childhood home. That one kills me because of the symbolism. Marcelino getting ready in the middle of a public park! Haha, that is the best groom prep location ever. The butterflies were woven throughout the park, and for me, they added a magical quality to the walk we took during the portraits. DC in late summer is hot. And muggy. Just ask the sax man. It rained, which would normally help the situation in Oregon, where I am from. This is not the case the further east you go. 🙂 The cultural nuances added so much to the day, especially the dancing. The dancing felt essential. It felt shared. I loved how communal and frenetic the dancing was, and not because people were drunk, it was because it’s a part of them. The reception was in her parents’ back yard, and there is nowhere else I could imagine it being. They wanted personal. They wanted family. They wanted people to feel at home, and I know I did. The reception area was tented (thank you, rain 🙂 ) and the borders were lined with photos of friends and family, clothes-pinned to twine. It was probably 10 minutes of wandering around, looking at all of the images, imagining the connections and stories, before I realized I should probably come up with a plan for me and my extra-fantastic second shooter, Aileen Reilly. Feeling immersed in someone else’s life is the best way I can describe this wedding.
Finally, we decided to go down to the National Mall at midnight, and see some of the monuments. Sure, we got kicked out, but it was the perfect way to end the night, and I will never forget it.
Thank you Aileen, for shooting with me. Thank you, DC Park Police officer, for being easy on us. Most of all… thank you to Patty and Marcelino, along with your families, for inviting me to be a part of your lives. Felicidades.
Venue: BROOKSIDE GARDENS