I wish “infectiously happy” sounded like a positive phrase, because it is the best way I can think to describe these two. Being around them makes you smile and appreciate how special it is to be happy in this life, and have someone to share that happiness with (even in the blustery northwest). Thankfully we live in the same town… I’m looking forward to being prompted b y their happiness for years to come.


WORDS OF ADVICE FROM THE BRIDE: A lot goes into preparing for your wedding day, however, no matter how much planning you do, not everything will be exactly as you expect or imagine. If you let the day just be how it’s going to be it will be perfect! It will likely be better than imagined. Take time to just ENJOY the day, and ENJOY all the people that come to celebrate your marriage!
GROOM’S ADVICE: Always stake down your tents.

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Katy and Ben threw one of the most memorable parties I’ve ever attended. The food, the tents, the jumping in the pool, the helicopter getaway. Is this real life? It was this day.

I am a sucker for any shooting that involves the water. Rain, lakes, rivers, oceans, all of it.  Ending up chest deep in the pool right before the send off is my kind of jam. These two are equally my kind of jam. The sweetest, most in love couples are always my favorite brides and grooms to photograph. I definitely love artsy people, moody vibes, and things that stray towards fashion… but for wedding work, I care less and less about “cool” and more about “real.” The quirky oddness of the 200-2010’s will probably be fun to look at in 30 years, but there’s no hipster pose that can stand up to genuine emotion. This is where I want to go with my work. Couples like Katy and Ben make me all the more sure of it. They had a beautiful wedding, with so many fashionable and exciting elements, however; the emotion of the day will forever be what I remember. And the pool. But really the emotion 😉

HUGE thanks to my friend Kayla Roper for shooting with me.

Words of Advice from the Bride: 

The most important thing to remember on your wedding day is that regardless of what happens, at least in 99.99% of circumstances, at the end of the day you’ll be married. Our day was filled with inclement weather, a chauffeur who locked the keys in the car, cakes with the wrong cake toppers and I’m sure 100 other mishaps of which I’m not even aware.

Ben and I were only engaged for three months but we still felt very invested in the details we worked hard to create for our friends and family to enjoy. I’m thrilled with how it all turned out. Some of the challenges even led to eventual highlights. For instance, I was initially disappointed the wedding day forecast was full of rain. The rain forced us to put up tents, which in all honesty, ended up transforming our venue into an even greater space than I could have imagined. The 30 minutes we were forced to wait at the church for a replacement vehicle led to some our favorite bridal party photos. Speaking of photos… document, document, document.
It is impossible to catch everything that happens at a wedding with more than 20 guests. Ben and I had roughly 190 people. I felt like I missed half of my friends and half of what happened. When people tell you the day will be a bit of blur, they mean it. One piece of great advice I received was to take a few moments throughout the day and soak them into memory. I will truly never forget my Mom and best friends tying me into my dress; the things my dad told me prior to walking down the aisle; a few moments I stole with my groom, brother and teary eyed coach; basking in a glorious Eugene sunset; jumping into the pool in my wedding dress; and steeling kisses from my new husband under the dance floor. Even with all those wonderful memories, I missed things. Lots of things. Spend money on a good photographer and videographer. Lasting documentation is a saving grace. It allows you to relive in perpetuity all of the time, effort and money you put into your day.  Photos and video, in my opinion, are truly the most worthwhile investment of your wedding day.
As with most in things in life, your wedding day is what you make it. Things never go exactly as planned. Allowing yourself to roll with punches, find the good in the bad and genuinely enjoy the experience will serve you well. My hope for you is that like me, at the end of the day, your greatest joy will be realizing you were blessed to find the love of your life, marry your best friend and have a wonderful time celebrating this lifelong commitment with your family and friends.

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  • Bethany Joy Gilbertson - amazing work as usually, jay!

  • Bruce Searl - Beautiful work Jay!

  • Heather Elizabeth - So freaking good. You seriously keep getting better and better. Still one of my favorite photographers.

    you rocked this wedding.


Nikki and Joel make shooting a wedding easy. And fun. Hopefully the images convey their joy and just how in love they are with each other. And can I just say the private residence they used for the venue was absolutely perfect, and full of interesting corners… one of my favorite of the whole year. We were threatened all day with rain, and amazingly the only time it sprinkled was during their first look, which, in my opinion, made it even better than the original plan. Umbrellas came out, Joel took shelter in the trees (thank you unplanned frame within a frame), and the skied turned moody. You can know your camera. You can have ideas stored in your Moleskine. You may have vision for days… but you cannot overlook the importance of luck when it comes to photography. Just be ready to think fast.

To start the post off, I’ll show Nikki’s surprise bridal we did for Joel a week before the big day. High five to Emily Baynes for the hair and makeup.

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  • Heather Elizabeth - Absolutely love your use of light and shadows here. Stellar work, my friend. You inspire me.

  • Joe - HOLY Cow my friend. This is Fantastic work!

  • Tracy Hiday - Breathtaking……

  • stephen - baller! dude, this is so good.

  • vanessa - dude, you floor me. amazing shots. wow, wow, wow!

  • Chrystal - Can’t imagine a more perfect dress, bride, location, or pictures! You did a fantastic job and had everything you needed to take perfect pictures of what looks like a perfect wedding!!!

  • Bryan Aulick - So many photos!

  • Brandon Witzel - Woah! I completely agree with Bryan!

  • jayeads - bryan, it feels that way because there are no images on your blog. 😉

    gotta edit the link on your FB http://www.bryanaulick.com/theblog/

  • Yee - Killed it, sir, killed it. That image of them illuminated only by the cross is hands down one of my favorites of all time.

  • Paul Krol - awesome!! some amazing pictures and i absolutely love pic #95 shooting a little through the green foliage! great stuff!

  • Bryan Aulick - Hahaha. I guess I kind of just got in a rut, posting five images, then three, then one, and toward the end: none. After coming off my high (or low), I realized that I had actually deleted all of my images. Hi, I’m Bryan, I was a nihilism-addict, and I want the world to know that minimalism is a gateway drug.

  • jsa - i love the way you see weddings.

  • Andy Gaines - Brilliant! Really inspiring stuff – Blog more (please!) your work is great!

  • jayeads - haha, bryan… perfect 🙂

  • Cortney - Jay,
    Your work never ceases to amaze me! I’m not sure how you do it but the weddings you shoot always look like the most incredible ever, with the most gorgeous couples I’ve ever seen. You are a genius 🙂

  • Debbie Mayes - This is one of my favorite wedding posts that I’ve seen in a long time – absolutely loving your work and the direction your going in. Beautiful!

  • Lucie Zeka - perfect 🙂