This family session was a long time coming.
Shannon and I have been friends since middle school and are still friends today, but thanks to life happening, we rarely get to see each other.
So when she contacted me about capturing her family, I was all in!
We both live out in the boonies, so we chose a gorgeous place by us, the Cedar Creek Grist Mill.
The old mill, bridge, and flowing creek are always perfect for a family session.
It was great hanging out with the Walker family. Now let’s hope that is doesn’t take years for us to see each other again!
2019 has been an odd year for summer weddings. Almost every wedding I have covered this year has had some rain when August and September has usually been our driest months.
But the gods must have been shining down on Joey and Cheyanne as the weather was perfect and even blessed us with a gorgeous sunset. Luckily we snuck away from the party just in time to catch it.
Bill and I arrived and met and immediately stole the dress before Joey came. The arbor at the ceremony site complemented the dress perfectly.
Inside, Cheyanne was getting ready with her girls.
Once Joey arrived, Bill headed over and made sure to catch their shenanigans…which included a traditional passing around the liquor bottle.
Shortly after they were all dressed, the guests started arriving. The ceremony and the wedding was being held on private property out in east Vancouver. The property was surrounded by trees, which gave us great privacy and was large enough to have separate areas for the ceremony and reception.
Bill was able to sneak out and capture some of the details before the ceremony started.
Once the guests were seated, the ceremony started. Like most of the time when my associate photographer package is booked, I hang out in the front to capture everyone coming down the aisle and the Groom’s first look, while Bill is in the back getting everyone as they go down the aisle.
And Joey did not disappoint in the reaction to seeing his bride for the first time.
They also did one of my favorite ceremony traditions, planting a tree! Cheyanne tried to use the shovel as much as she could in her dress and heels, they did pretty well!
Also, Joey’s reflexes are ON POINT. This is the first time i’ve seen the best man drop the rings, but they never had a chance to touch the ground.
I like rolling right into the family formals after the ceremony. Most of the family members are there, and the faster we can get them all in, the more partying during the reception!
During this portrait session, I had to use my trick of waving around one of the groomsmen’s beers to get all of their attention and keep them focused. They can’t have their beer back until I get the pictures I need!
While they all went to grab their drinks and enjoy their taco bar, I stole their rings and went over to a pond area that was soaking in the natural light from the sun.
In summer, it seems like the light is only perfect for about half an hour and then BOOM, its night.
So shortly after this shot, Bill and I walked over to a field that was just past the trees that surrounded the property. We knew that we would only have about 15 minutes before it all left us. So we rushed back, grabbed the bride and groom, loaded up the golf cart, and headed over.
What may look like a plain field to some, us photographers can see something totally different, especially in light as gorgeous as this.
As the light faded, we headed back and got ready for the toasts.
With backyard style weddings, I love how laid back everyone is. They all seem to have a genuinely good time hanging out and celebrating the bride and groom.
Keeping it relaxed and low key, the only thing on the schedule was the cake cutting.
Well that was the only thing they had scheduled, but after they had changed into some more comfortable clothes and were enjoying everyone being there, they decided to have their dances.
Congratulations to these two amazing people and we wish you all the best!
I know it sounds like a weird combination, but once you meet these two, it makes perfect sense.
Wendi and John met me at the Clark County Wedding Expo last year, and we just clicked. It may have been the T-Rex in my booth or just my social awkwardness.
In any case, they planned an August wedding in their friend’s backyard. Not just any plain backyard, we have towering trees and a fantastic suspension bridge that the owner built over the creek that meandered through the property.
Instead of the typical engagement session that I include in all of my wedding packages, they opted for me to come to the rehearsal and take some candids of their family.
The next day, my team arrived to start capturing the day. This is where Batman and the penguins came into play. Not the classic Batman man villain Penguin, but the animal. Wendi likes them just a little bit. And Batman? That was definitely John’s thing.
Wendi was getting ready in the master suite with her bridesmaids and mom…and having a good time doing so. She was all too excited to be wearing her Wifey and Bride robe, I don’t think she wanted to change.
And of course, the boys take about 5 minutes to get ready, so my associate Courtney took them outside to have some fun with their group shots.
We kept John outside and positioned him on the bridge, we thought it would be perfect for the first look.
I really do like first looks. When I first started in wedding photography, I was sort of against them, wanting to keep them traditional with the first look during the ceremony. But over the years, I have seen how much stress it relieves in both of them. Kicking the nerves down a notch before the big moments in the ceremony. It also gives you and your significant other a little quiet time together before more of the day whirlwinds away.
For some more time just to themselves, we took them to the side for some portraits, and gift exchange. Wendi had given John his Batman cufflinks while they were both getting ready.
And John gave Wendi 1 bag of an item that I will not mention (I will say it was Portland Timbers themed) AND custom cards that feature them both. He used these as wedding favors, but also a surprise to her.
This is also the time that we got the wedding parties and family involved. They had built in plenty of time in their schedule to get as many portraits as we could do before the ceremony. That meant more party time for everyone!
John, ever the fun lover, decided to have a little fun during the portraits and toss a few pinecones at Wendi when she was being lifted. One landed perfectly, and I got a nice little smirk from John as he was running away.
About half an hour before the ceremony, we got everyone tucked away as the guests arrived for the ceremony.
The Groomsmen waited for the Bridesmaids to cross the bridge and walk them all down the aisle as they all waited for Wendi and her Father to come down.
Their ceremony was very personalized to them, including a candle lighting ceremony and communion.
After the ceremony, we took a short break and got the rest of the family together!
Then, it was off to the party! Well, not off, as this property had plenty of room to host the party with a live band, Cedars & Crows, and some dancing!
The light was fading fast, so I put up my lights and got ready for the rest of the reception. There was cake in John’s face for the cake cutting, some great toasts, and the bouquet and garter toss.
The bank kept playing and everyone was having a good time. This is the time of the night that I like to sneak the bride and groom away from the business and get a few more portraits. More time for them together, and we get to create some unique shots.
When things wound down, we passed out the sparklers and lined everyone up. And yes, I will admit we do make you play around under the sparklers for a bit to make sure we get you all of the magical shots that you want. I don’t think these two minded that at all.
Congratulations to Wendi and John! So many happy years ahead for these two!
I’ll repeat it, I live in such an amazing and gorgeous place!
When Maria contacted me about an engagement session, she mentioned she wanted a location that encapsulated the Pacific Northwest. She and Spencer were having their wedding in New Mexico, so having a stark contrast for their engagement session was essential to her. I gave them a map with an “X” marking the spot to my secret island located in the Columbia Gorge.
We all arrived about half an hour before planned, and it was actually perfect. Although I knew the sunset time, the gorge has its own ideas as the surrounding mountains and hills have their own agenda.
Who else came along to their session? Their dogs!
Also, two of their friends that helped keep their attention as dogs are usually about the same as toddlers when it comes to keeping their attention.
The little gravel road takes you in a spiral as we climbed to the top of the cliff. Up here we have great views of both the Columbia River and the cliffs that line it.
Climbing the rocks at the top is just a little dangerous. Plenty of room to move around and have some great views along the way. I also like to hike halfway back down and capture the couples while they are up there.
Not to mention, Spencer and Maria have some acrobatic skills!
Down along the water, the Washington side is visible and allows amazing views of the Columbia as the sun sets behind the hills.
Congratulations to these to and have an amazing wedding in New Mexico!
Another year in the books for Northbank beer week! A great celebration of craft beer in Southwest Washington. From Dwinell in Goldendale to North Jetty in Long Beach, great times….and beer were had.
I was only able to make it to a few events this year, but i’ll be damned if i was going to miss Brewing Bridges.
This collaboration fest has a Washington brewery pair up with an Oregon brewery and
Here’s a list of the brew partners this year:
Washington Breweries · Oregon Breweries
54-40 Brewing Co · Gigantic Brewing Company · Grenzliebe Ashtown Brewing Co. · Grain Station Brew Works · Vanngrense Hazy Pale
Backwoods Brewing Company · Ex Novo Brewing · Hunt for Red Oktober Barlows Brewery · Breakside Brewery · The River Runs Through Us IPA
Barrel Mountain Brewing · Boneyard Beer · Barrelyard
Brother Ass Brewing · Vertigo Brewing · Citrafresh Self Down Brother Vertigo
Brothers Cascadia Brewing · Wayfinder Beer · Festbier
Dwinell Country Ales · Ferment Brewing Company · Haywire Everybody’s Brewing · Double Mountain Brewing · The Devil’s Wine (
Grains of Wrath · Sunriver Brewing Co. ·
Heathen Brewing · Level Beer ·
Hopworks Urban Brewery · Assembly Brewing · Red Trapper
Logsdon Farmhouse Ales · Von Ebert Brewing · An August Gentleman
Loowit Brewing Company · Hammer & Stitch Brewing Co. · Son of A Gunship IPA
North Jetty Brewing · Reach Break Brewing · Belgian Fog IPA
Northwest Passage Craft Brewery · MadCow Brewing · Hopin’ Mad IPA
Old Ivy Brewery · Rogue Ales & Spirits · C-Hop IPA
The Heavy Metal Brewing Co ·
Trap Door Brewing · Cascade Brewing · Casual Friday
Trusty Brewing Company · Tuebor Beer Company · Peppered Apricot Saison
Victor 23 Craft Brewery · West Coast Grocery Company · Shoplifter
Walking Man Brewing · Portland Brewing · Walk the Line
See that list up there? Yeah, I knew there was no way that I would be able to get to all of them. Not to mention, a lot of the breweries brought other kegs of beer with them to I had to pace myself, so again, I put my husband to work and we tried to taste a little bit of everything, even if we just passed tasters back and forth.
So for my 3 favorite…..and yes, this is all opinion. I did not have a beer there I didn’t like, but there were a few standouts for my tastes.
Grains of Wrath and Sunriver’s IIPA.
This was an odd one for me as I usually am not a fan of
Next up, Brother Ass and Vertigo Brewing.
A nice crisp beer for the humid summer day. I might of had this one a few times.
And last but not least, Walking Man and Portland Brewing’s Walk the Line.
And now for your choices. Which ones were your favorite AND which breweries should pair up next year?