Growing up, I spent a lot of my summers in the La Center, WA, area. My grandparents lived up there, and I would spend my summers up there helping them and going to the small church that sits across from the Police Station. When we had the opportunity to purchase land up there, we did not hesitate. That move changed a lot for me and my little business. Living out in the middle of nowhere separated me from a lot of my clients and venues that I was working with. Not too much, it just takes me longer to get into town these days.
When I found out that there was a new wedding venue, Trinity Pines Ranch, opening up just outside of town, I was so happy to hear it. But when I got a call from the owner of the venue a few years after opening, to capture his daughter’s wedding, I was ECSTATIC. Getting to work in a town I love and with a fantastic family that is there to help it grow.
I stopped by a little bit before the wedding when Kristen was in town to meet up with her and to scope out the venue again. I had visited when Matt first booked with me to get the layout of the place and introduce myself. I like seeing the sites before we shoot so we know the design and what the landscape looks like. If I haven’t been to the venue before and can’t make it out before the wedding, I usually show up about 30-45 minutes early the day of your wedding to get everything down and find some sweet spots for portraits.
The day if the wedding, we did the usual split. Jen went with the boys, and I headed in with the girls, but not before we stole the gown. Jason was on the other side of the driveway, so we had to scout and make sure he couldn’t see us head to the gazebo with is.
And seriously, how cool are the custom throwing axes, Jason got for his groomsmen.
Back in with the girls, they were having a great time getting ready and helping Kristen out.
And the boys were all having fun outside.
With is being the middle of summer, it can be hard to find spots to hide from the harsh light from the sun. Luckily, Trinity Pines Ranch has this tree-lined driveway that worked gorgeously for the first look.
I LOVE that these two included their pup Kato into the ceremony. Although she looked as if she was just going to take a nap right up there at the altar with them.
We snuck in a few more formals with the Grandparents right after the ceremony, and then I whisked them away for a sort little portrait session up at the koi pond. Trinity Pines Ranch has a gorgeous landscape, and small details sprinkled throughout that I could shoot here for a while and not get everything.
PLUS, all the little touches that the couple included.
We took our usual small break while everyone was eating, and set up for the reception. There were some fantastic stories to hear during the toasts, and Jason’s father even gifted Kristen with the set of scrubs from when Jason was born. Lot’s of sweet moments and TONS of laughter hearing stories about these two.
After the toasts, we looked outside to see that the sun was setting, so we rearranged the schedule a little bit and stole the couple. Right across from the reception barn is this big open field that is surrounded by forest. Perfect for us tree lovers.
Back inside, Matt with Groove Machine Mobile DJ got the dances started up. ( BTW Matt is seriously one of the best DJs I have worked with to date). Having the giant LOVE sign right, there is also a great addition from the venue.
Now for the part that had everybody in stitches. For the garter toss, Matt came out to blindfold Jason. We didn’t know why at first until Jason’s brother came out in a skirt and switched places with Kristen. I think she knew that Jason was going to get a little creative with the retrieval of the garter.
Jen and I were trying really hard not to laugh too hard to give it away, but also to continue to photograph the entire thing. At times I had to force myself to remember to push the shutter button instead of laugh.
I’m just surprised that these groomsmen didn’t tackle each other for the garter.
Kristen’s flower toss went without a hitch as well. However, the cake cutting got a little messy for Jason.
The floor then opened up, and the dancing commenced!
While the party was going late into the night, we did have a little fun with the sparklers. So much fun, that we made them walk up and down the aisle until they all burned out, but I don’t think they minded. Everyone was there cheering them on.
Congratulations to Kristen and Jason and we wish you love on all of your adventures!
The only conversations between Taylor and I were via Email, we had to keep it hush hush as this was a surprise.
I asked my photographer friend Jen to come along as I knew she liked to hike and I was raised to never hike alone (although, I count my dog as a companion, so sometimes it’s just us).
We met up in Camas in the morning hours and headed out to the Cape Horn trailhead in the Columbia Gorge.
Once in the parking lot, we waiting for Taylor and Megan to arrive by “studying the maps”. We didn’t meet before, but my bright orange hiking backpack is a nice little identifier. So once Taylor saw us and gave us a little nod, we hit the trail.
Now, I knew I was going to be a little slower on the trail, but I had been backpacking and hiking this summer so I thought I would be ok, plus we were only going to go about a mile and a half to the first viewpoint. Well, I was wrong. Almost the entire way to the first viewpoint is switchbacks because of the steepness. So, Megan and Taylor totally blew past us. We gave them a smile and acted like nothing was out of the ordinary. Jen was great and supporting me the entire time.
Every once in a while we could here Taylor yess some words of encouragement. And here I thought I would totally miss the proposal because of how long I was taking.
Just a little before the viewpoint, we met a woman coming down who told us “we’re almost there”. I took it as normal hiking encouragement, but we also got out cameras ready because we didn’t know how long Taylor could stall Megan.
Low and behold, we came around a bend, Taylor saw us, and dropped to one knee.
And of course she said YES!
Megan had no clue it was coming, or that Taylor had us conspiring with him.
We did make them recreate the proposal with a little bit more of a background…..
Also, how cute is their Labradoodle Oliver?!?
On the way up, Jen and I had seen a few spots that would be great for some engagement portraits, so we followed them back down and got some fun ones along the way.
So happy for these two and I am ecstatic to capture their wedding next summer!
Seriously. These two are AMAZING.
The first time I met Stephanie and Ty, we all got up super early and drove out to Cascade Locks to capture a sunrise engagement session at a little hidden island out there. It’s one of many of my secret spots, and I won’t share unless you ask nicely.
My team and I arrived at the Aerie out in Oregon City, we immediately jumped into action and started capturing all of the details that we could. That meant stealing the dress and sneaking it outside without Ty getting a chance to see any of it.
One of the best parts of having an associate shooter, is that when I am in there having a blast with the ladies getting ready.
Bill is in there with the boys doing the same thing.
Since they decided to save the first look for the ceremony, we hung out a little bit outside and got some of the gals before everything happened.
The ceremony itself was held in the gardens right behind the clubhouse. It has a great arbor, and the sun doesn’t make it scorching hot in the summertime.
The ceremony was short and sweet as I feel these two were ready to PARTY! But, we didn’t let them do that yet. First, they had to survive the formal images. Of course, we don’t make them boring; we have a little fun with them as well.
We also snuck the couple off to take a breather before going right back into the reception.
Following our rule of not photographing people when they eat (no one wants that), we picked right back up at the toasts.
I love listening to the toasts, we get so much more insight on our clients with these. AND we get to hear some awesome stories.
Dances are always full of sweet moments.
And the cake, I tend to try to cheer on some cake in the face, but most people behave (like they should).
The Aerie has some wonderful spots for your couples portraits. First, the fountain.
And then the tunnel! I didn’t even know they had a tunnel! They even let you sign it!
Back at the reception, the party was getting crazy. Lots of fun on the dance floor inside, while other were enjoying the perfect summer night outside.
And the perfect exit for a summer night? Sparklers of course!
Congratulations again to these two! I wish them all the happiness!
Amazing vendors of the day:
- Venue: The Aerie at Eagle Landing
- Coordinator: Chelsea Hutchison @ The Aerie
- Videographer: Dane Casperson
- Florist: Wendy with Lush Floral Design
- DJ: Lynn Winkel with Media Jockeys
- Bakery: Simply Sweets
I’ll have to be careful here, because there were a lot of good brews at this years Vancouver Brewfest.
I arrived Friday afternoon right before opening and grabbed a program. My goal was to plan out the ones I have not had, and pace myself for the weekend. But, these plans never come out that way.
This year’s featured brew was a collab between Brothers Cascadia and the Couve Brew Bevy (yay!! If you’re a female craft brew lover, you should join us at Final Draft Taphouse). It was a nice, hoppy lager to start off the day.
After attending these for a bit and some other networking gigs, I’ve become friends with some of the local brewers. So it wasn’t long until I met up with a few and we started our way around.
One of my first favorites was something I don’t tend to drink on hot sunny days. The Summer Honey Porter from Northwest Passage was delicious. It was still nice and light for summer, but nice and roasty. Add to the fact that since they do not have a taproom, it’s hard to come by. These guys know how to brew.
Now that I am looking through my list, it seems that none of my favorites are my typical choices. I think my subconsciousness was going for something different.
Next up, mead. That’s right, the sweet, sweet honey wine of old. I am NOT someone who likes super sweet. If my daughter gets me candy, it’s either black licorice or dark chocolate. So I tried a few of the meads and could not drink the whole thing. However, Ethereal Mead has a cherry blend called Raven that was phenomenal. Not super sweet and the cherries seemed to balance out and add some acid.
Last up? Another non beer….well kinda. Just like the mead, I rarely drink cider as I find it really sweet. However, if you are Alter Ego and bring a Snakebite in as a colab with Ex Novo, THEN you have my attention.
Another lesson I learned this time? Let your taste buds settle down after drinking sours BEFORE trying others. I kept getting mixed up with my flavor profiles, handing the taster over to my husband or a friend wondering what was wrong with it. Turns out, if you’ve been drinking sours all morning, you might need some palette cleanser before jumping over.
Another great year in the bag and I am so happy that I get to continue to work with these amazing people promoting local craft brews AND donating some serious cash to local charities. If I remember correctly, Cody Gray and his foundation have donated over $80k since 2014.
Next beer event? I ‘ll be participating in the Mashfest at Pearson Field in September and hoping to attend as many Northbank Beer Week events that I can!