Tag Archives: PRIVATE RESIDENCE
Clouds, cows, and a lot of emotion. That’s what I remember most from this wedding, despite there being no shortage of memorable pieces. Pulling off a surprise guest for the bride, guests wheeled in on flatbeds, keg stands a plenty. If I had to choose a single image as the tentpole for this wedding, it would be the couple on hay bails in the clouds. If I was pressed to select one moment… it would be the groom, Logan, taking his hat off, tears in his eyes, as he watched Deshea walk down the aisle. All the feels. An old school classiness that you just don’t see that often. It defined this wedding for me.
That brings up a couple points I think are worth mentioning. First, if you’re a bride or groom planning a wedding, deciding between a first look and waiting for the ceremony can be tough. It’s much more practical to take portraits before the ceremony, after a first look, but that may not be the way you’ve always pictured your day. Waiting for the ceremony still holds a sentimental place in the hearts of many people. Which is right? Which is better? It really depends on what is most important to you, and the constraints you have on your time. If you don’t have 1-2 hours to spare on portraits after the ceremony, do a first look. If you have always dreamed of seeing each other for the first time down the aisle, there’s your answer. Just know that I’ve seen plenty of wedding with an emotional reaction to a first look AND walking down the aisle (ahem, this one). You won’t lose anything if you find you really need to do portraits beforehand. I really believe that.
Secondly, have the wedding that is right for you. Chateaus, forests, or hay-bails. Elopement or 500 person event. Find the thing that makes you happy, and do that thing. You can make a field classy, and you can dirty up the dancefloor of the priciest ballroom with some Ludacris. Marry the right person, plan the wedding that suits you.
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.
Connor and Audrey’s Bellingham wedding embodies so much of what resonates with me at weddings. Deep emotional responses to the moments of the day. Authentic smiles, not the learned school-picture-day business we all offer most cameras. Great dancing. Personal connections. Wearing her grandmother’s gloves. Faith, coupled with excitement for what could be. Boys making bad decision and sinking on a dock 😉 She works at a food bank. He nervously switched legs before the first look. She hugged the kids she nannies like they were her own. He danced with reckless abandon. The bridesmaid trying to give away the bouquet, apparently uncomfortable with the marital implications. There were so many honest moments, but these three are my favorites.
1) Near Bellingham, there is a rock that people often paint with messages for special events. I love bookends at weddings. I want a good starting image, and a nice ending image to finish the story. Sometimes I get better bookends than others, but it is my goal. A couple of the bridesmaids called me as I drove up from Oregon and tipped me off that they did some work on the rock, and I thought the rock painted by Audrey and her girls was perfect. The morning of the wedding I drove out to the rock, which was back out the highway, very much not on my way, but I felt like I NEEDED that shot to start it off right. So I drove. And I saw nothing. I looped around again. I saw nothing. I called a certain bridesmaid whose wedding I am doing this summer and got some really poor directions (assigning blame! 🙂 ) and a description of the colors, etc. Nothing. One more pass is all I had time for before I had to head back into town for the getting ready shots, and then I saw it. The purple had been covered up already. I had to laugh… all that effort for a picture of someone else’s rock 🙂 Perfect. (props to bridesmaid Grace for the shots of the rock pre-Justin)
2) Audrey’s mother, Judy, is a florist, and has made zillions of bouquets and boutonnieres, and I am sure she cannot count the amount of times she has pinned boutonniere on a groom. On this particular day, she got to pin one onto her new family member. “Of all the boutonnieres I have put on before, I think this one is my favorite.”
3) After the ceremony Audrey and Connor’s recessional took them up stairs to an open area where she absolutely nailed the perfect “I just got married and I am so happy I will now cry” moment. An all-time favorite for me, and it was enough for me to get teary, too.
Now, Audrey and her roommates have been in front of my camera before, for a personal project that was just for funsies. It’s a photogenic bunch, and although the cast of roommates has evolved, I wanted to include a couple here because I have always loved the images, and it was the first time I met Audrey. By the way, all the dresses were from Goodwill, or Value Village, and if memory serves me.. none of the girls spent more than $10.
Much love for Audrey and Connor having me.
VENUE – PRIVATE RESIDENCE IN BELLINGHAM WASHINGTON
DEAR JUSTIN AND ASHLEE, YOU ARE THE WORST.