As a photographer who shoots weddings, I always have my radar up on where couples are at in their relationship. For example: If a couple is of the marriageable age, and they have been dating for awhile, then certain family, friend, and societal workings are already set in motion. There is often pressure on the couple to 'fish or cut bait'. (Alright, nothing personal- it's just an old Swedish family expression, I think?) As is often the case families get together during the Christmas and New Year's holidays, this is when many engagements are announced. That is why January 1st is widely recognized as the beginning of the Bridal season. Bridal shows often happen in early January. You could plan your whole event in one afternoon as all the services that you might need can be found in one place. Wedding coordinators, cake decorators, venue owners, dj's, bridal dress stores, limousine services, florists, tents, officiants, and yes, photographers can all be found in one location. But I won't be there. For lot's of reasons, the biggest one is that I don't run a wedding mill. I believe that each bride and groom are unique and should be treated as such. I have seen some of the craziest things over the years. Like photographers who boss the bride and groom around like they are simply performers of the show that the photographer had envisioned simply to enhance his portfolio. Sometimes it's hard to figure out who is in charge, the bride or the photographer? Listen, it's your wedding! Figure out what is most important and start with that. You'll need a dress, a place to get married, and a willing guy. After that, give me a call and I will help you with some fabulous images that will capture your wedding day the way you always dreamed it could be.
I photographed the Chancellor girls last week during the cold snap that we had here in Oregon. I am not sure exactly what the temperature was but it was somewhere around 25 degrees. The family had told me that they wanted old brick as a background for their portraits. I had scouted several locations within a 2 block area and so when the girls arrived we jumped right into the shoot and moved quickly from one location to the next. I was impressed with how they were able to stay engaged with the shoot despite the cold weather. This was a great location for Salem portraits. I love how they turned out!
This is three generations of the Defrees family, part of a series of family ranch portraits that I just completed in Central Washington and Eastern Oregon. As is often the case, I had to work within the time constraints of all the parties involved. The only time that I could get the whole family together was between 6:30-7:00 am in the morning. With the sun coming up at about 7:20 in Baker City, Oregon, I knew it would be a challenge. The temperature was about 20 degrees above zero so I also had to work fast. The results prove that a beautiful family portrait is possible in difficult conditions.
I love breaking the unwritten rules of photography. One of them reads: "Put your camera away when the sun goes down." I have found that some of the most fun you can have with a camera is when the sun has already set. Depending on the time of year, and where you are at, there is a period of time between sunset and total darkness, maybe 20-50 minutes when you can make some truly magical photographs. There are many techniques that can be used, including time-lapse, silhouettes, multiple exposures, and so forth.
Here I used a fast (f/1.4) lens in combination with an on-camera flash to produce a series of photos that the kids had a blast in making. They show action, they show the kids having fun, and they have impact. As I downloaded the photos to my laptop a few minutes later it was like a party all over again, as they all enjoyed seeing themselves jumping in the air with this stunning background behind them. Who would have thought that a bunch of bored kids on the beach could have so much fun?
The best time to take your camera out is when you have willing subjects who are up for a good time!