I was so excited when Katrina and Lennon wanted to head down to the Witches Castle in Forest Park! Its a short little hike with some gorgeous scenery along the way, and perfect for an engagement session.
The path drops steeply and winds down to a cool little bridge spanning the creek below. The trick is timing everything so you don’t get the other hikers in your shot.
From there, the trail meanders through the woods and along Balch Creek. Lots of spots to play around in the water and soak in the scenery.
Contrary to the name, the Witches Castle is neither a castle nor have anything to do with witches. It is in fact a dilapidated stone bathroom from the 1930s. A storm came through and caused so much damage, that the Portland Parks Department decided not to refurbish it. Since then, it’s been open for the public to crawl all over and enjoy the stonework. It also makes an amazing backdrop.
The castle was our main goal, so after playing around here for a bit, we started making our way back up to the top. Stopping along the way to find more spots.
To wrap up the session, we used the bridge a little bit more. Coming back up from the bottom you can capture the trees all around it.
Heading down to the Witches Castle is easy, its coming back up the switchbacks that get you.
Still, a great time with these two and cant wait to capture their wedding in August!
Let me tell you about Megan and her awesome kids.
Megan wanted a special session that celebrated her kids and herself. They live in the Camas, wa area, so why NOT celebrate in their gorgeous downtown. We met up on a fall day in front of the Liberty theater and started our wanderings from there.
Knowing Megan wanted to celebrate a special announcement, we hunted down the perfect little window.
We finished where we started, in the front of the iconic theater.
Thank you so much for being such an amazing family to hang out with and capture!
I met Jessica at Tap Union in Vancouver, WA, to start planning her engagement session with John and their plans for their wedding.
They wanted to have some fun outside, and it was still winter, so why not head up to Mount Hood and play in the snow?
While most of the trailheads and parking lots get packed during the weekend on the mountain, there are a few where we can have some spots to ourselves, minus a few snowmobilers going by now and then. And of course, they brought their fur baby along.
While they are getting married on June 12th, things have definitely changed due to the pandemic. Instead of the large gathering of friends and family, they are having a small gathering in a family members backyard and then a larger celebration next year when this is hopefully all over.
This session was captured a few months before the pandemic, so we were still allowed to have close contact and have some fun as a group in the snow.
These two are so sweet together. Jessica was even brave to shed her jacket in the cold weather.
It lasted a little bit until the coat had to go back on, and the pup wanted to join back in.
And as football fans in the Pacific Northwest, they had to include their jerseys.
Congratulations to Jessica and John and I will see you shortly for your ceremony!
Did you know that you could get married inside of Powell’s Books? I didn’t. And not the main store areas where I have captured a few engagement sessions, but my favorite spot, the rare book room. That is precisely what Mitch and Megan did back in November.
I met Mitch and his family outside of the Rare Book Room and got them all together for their family images along the walls of books.
When the book room opened, we all fit inside to wait the arrival of Megan.
Also, bookcases make the perfect aisle.
Both Megan and Mitch had vows that made the whole room cry with lots of literary references and how awesome that they are together.
And then, the kiss.
Being in the perfect room already, and all of their direct, close relatives, the formals were quite a breeze.
ALL of the hugs and happiness being passed around.
The dinner and reception were both being held in two different locations, so I stole the couple while everyone else went to the locations to setup and wait for them. This time, we got to roam the entire book store.
Congratulations to Megan and Mitch!
When Shar reached out to me to schedule her engagement session, I know they were the perfect couple to work with. We met up at Heathen for a beer and then went over to Tap Union for even more beers and the fire pit. We automatically hit it off and knew that their session would be a blast.
We got a nice fall day to head into downtown Portland as the Portland sign was high on their list of locations.
I love Old Town Portland and the architecture. This building has always caught my eye down there. So glad that Shar and Isaiah went along with everything.
And of course, right across from this building is waterfront park. They also brought their pup out for the fun excursion.
Shar and Isaiah had been friends for a long time before taking the step into the relationship. And that moment happened over at Widmer. However, the taproom is now closed, so we hung around outside to capture some memories.
We even talked a tenant of the apartment building adjacent to the building to let us sneak into the courtyard to use the fountain. It worked well with the height difference of these two <3.
Before we wrapped up the session, we hit the park adjacent to where we parked for just a few more shots. The fall colors on the ground always help.
Congratulations to Shar and Isaiah! I hope they are doing well during this quarantine!
When I met Megan and Taylor, I was hanging out in a parking lot with a friend and pretended that we had no idea what was about to happen. After a steep hike (where Taylor would randomly yell encouragement to me like I was a stranger), my friend (who is also a fantastic photographer) and I captured Taylor proposing to Megan on the Cape Horn trail. It was magical and awesome. You can read more about that here.
Once Megan said yes, and the wedding planning started, we booked an official engagement session in the fall at Cathedral Park.
Cathedral Park is known for the architecture of the bridge that is above it, but the paths, lamp posts, and sooo many colorful trees make it a great spot in the fall.
It’s also a good spot for a leaf fight.
We arrived about two hours before the sunset. To the southwest of the park lay the hills of Portland, so I wanted to make sure that we could catch some gorgeous rays before the place turned dark.
What makes the bridge special? These arches! They frame everything beautifully, and as a fan of architecture, I love them.
Most people just stay on the north side of the park, but if you walk down towards the water, it opens up to some great views.
Speaking of the waterfront, they do have a little fishing dock thats a great spot to watch the sun fall behind the hills.
Congratulations to these two! I can’t wait to see them at Camas Meadows in August!
There are a lot of wedding websites out there aimed to make your wedding planning easier. They also give multiple lists to bring along when you meet up with potential vendors. I have seen a lot of them and thought it might be easier for me to do a FAQ to help you decide if I am the right wedding photographer for you.
If you don’t see your question below, feel free to send it on over!
Here we go!
Will you be the one shooting my wedding? If not, can I meet the photographer who will be on-site?
Yes! Unless otherwise stated to you directly, I will be the primary photographer at your wedding. There have been a few times where I will have one of my associate shooters work with you if I am already booked for the weekend but still love our work.
How many other weddings will you photograph that weekend?
I will only cover one wedding a day, and up to two weddings on the weekend (I count Fridays as part of the weekend). That way, my team and I are entirely focused on your big day.
Will you have any assistants with you on our wedding day?
I do! Last year I started bringing an assistant with me as well as my associate photographer (if you chose that package), and it has made a world of difference. We can be focused on photography while they help carry equipment, round up people, and keep us on task! Assistants are not an additional charge to you.
My assistant generally hides behind you with a flash like this.
How long have you been shooting weddings? How many weddings have you photographed?
I started photographing weddings in 2014, but have been shooting landscapes since 2009 and portraits since 2012. For the number of weddings I have photographed, as of March 2020, I have captured 76 amazing couples for my own brand. I have also covered many more with local companies that have hired me as a contractor to them.
Heres a few images from my first wedding in 2014. That is my Brother-in-law, his awesome wife Kris. It’s their fault I fell in love with capturing weddings.
Do you often shoot weddings that have a similar size and style?
I have covered elopements to 250+ weddings. My style generally stays the same unless I feel the need to get SUPER creative for a shot or two.
Can we see the full galleries of a few of your recent weddings?
Absolutely! Once I find out a little more about your wedding, I can send over a gallery of a full wedding that may be similar to the time of year and such as yours. I may even be able to send you one at the venue so you can picture everything.
Have you ever shot a wedding at our venue? If not, do you plan to check the venues out in advance?
See above, just ask, and I will gladly send you a gallery if I have been there before. As for scouting beforehand, I generally wait until the day of to scout. I use to go weeks/months ahead of time, but I’ve found out many times that venues and lighting changes. So on the day of the wedding, my team and I arrive 30 – 45 minutes early and scout things out to find some unique spots and know where everything is. If you are getting ready at a different location, my associate photographer will generally head to the venue to get images of the site and scout.
How would you describe your photography style?
This one is a little hard as I don’t consider myself light and airy or dark and moody. I say I’m right in the middle with making sure you are looking the best with proper lighting and color. No orange skins or blue dresses, just correctly captured so that your images are timeless and do not fit into a trend. Also, I call myself a “light bender”, as I use multiple flash units throughout the day as needed, which has some photographers calling me “contrasty.” Take a look through my portfolio and see that I aim to make sure your day looks its best and use multiple methods in doing so, even if that means hiking around various light stands and gear.
How would you describe your working style? Do you prefer to blend into the background to capture candid moments, or do you like to be more visible and take charge to choreograph images?
I do a little of both. For the majority of the day, I am a ninja. I hide in the background and let the day float beautifully. When needed, I step into the director’s chair to get those big formal family images that everybody wants. This makes me become more visible and take charge, but after that, it’s back to hiding in the shadows for my team and me.
Do you shoot digitally? With film? Or both?
I am digital only. One of the main reasons is that I want to make sure I capture everything and can deliver it to you. This is also a great time to mention that as I shoot, my cameras write to two SD cards. This gives me assurance that if one card decides to rebel, the images are still on another card.
What is included in your standard package? What add-ons do the more expensive packages include?
My standard packages include wedding coverage, an engagement session, an online gallery, A USB with edited images, and a print credit. The more expensive packages include more hours, extra photographers, and more print credit. I also offer gorgeous albums as add-ons to your package.
Can I customize a package to fit my needs?
Yes! Everyone is different and you can easily modify a package to fit what you are looking for.
Do you include engagement photos in your packages? What about pre-wedding events like rehearsal dinners?
I include an engagement session with every wedding. I feel that this gets us all a little more comfortable working together. I have had a few couples choose to use the engagement session included for rehearsal dinners, bridal boudoir, and family sessions.
How many hours are included in each package? How much do extra hours cost?
My basic packages range from 4 hours to 8 hours. You can add additional hours for $300 per hour.
Do you offer a photo booth?
I do not have the capabilities for a photo booth, however, my wonderful friend owns Couve Booth and would be a wonderful addition to your wedding.
Do you offer retouching, color adjustment, or other corrective services? Are those included or an additional charge?
All delivered images are edited and adjusted before they are posted to your gallery and provided on the USB. If there is anything that you see that you wish changed, I do my best to accommodate your request.
Do you charge a travel fee? For what distance? What does that cover?
For anywhere within 60 miles of the Portland metro area, there is no additional fees. If your location is out side of this, fees vary depending on travel needed and if I will need to get accommodations for the night.
Can we order prints directly from you?
Yes! In fact, your print credit that I provide with the packages is only valid through your online gallery. You can order your prints directly from there. I use a top quality print house that uses amazing materials that will have your prints last for a life time.
What type of album do you offer? Do you provide assistance selecting images and designing the album?
I offer albums from 4″x4″ up to 12″x12″ with cover materials varying from premium leather, eco-leather, and gorgeous book cloth. My online galleries allow you to pick your favorite images that you would like in the album, and I get to designing! Once I have everything put together, I will send you a digital copy of your album to approve. Once everything is good, I send it off to my supplier, who handcrafts every album here in the USA.
How long after the wedding will we receive the images? How will they be delivered?
My usual timeframe to have the complete wedding edited it 4-6 weeks after your date. However, I give a social media sneak peek a day or two after your wedding and send you the link to your gallery. As I edit, I upload to this gallery so you can have new images to enjoy and can see exactly where I am with everything.
Will we receive the high resolution digital images?
You will receive all edited images from me in high resolution both in your online gallery and on your USB.
When will we receive the contract?
I will send the contract over digitally for us both to sign shortly after you have confirmed your booking.
How much of a deposit do you require? When is it due?
I request a $100 non-refundable deposit to hold your date, and it is due at the signing of the contract. Everything is handled online to make it simple.
Do you accept payments in installations?
I do! My invoicing system makes it easy to pay as you go in any amounts. I ask that the total of the wedding be paid for on or before the date of the event.
Do you have liability insurance?
I do! I am fully licensed and insured. If your venue requests a certificate of insurance, just let me know and I will send one over!
Do you carry backup equipment?
Yes! In fact, I usually have a backup for my backup. All of my cameras write to two SD cards to create redundancy, and when I get home, the images get put on 2 different hard drives in case of failure. The SD also does not get deleted until the final photos are delivered.
What is the backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for an unexpected reason?
This has yet to happen, but I am part of a community of amazing photographers that have each other’s backs. If an emergency comes up, I have a few photographers that I can have someone step in and make sure your day is covered.
Can we request a list of specific shots we would like?
Absolutely, and actually, I encourage that you do! Please make a list of all the fabulous people you want in your formal images. One of the reasons I bring an assistant along is to get everyone together so that you don’t have to run around and find everyone! As for images of other parts of the day, please remember that they will be more of an inspiration than an exact copy of the image that you put on Pinterest. Light changes, dresses are different, and so many other factors that make it quite impossible to create the same exact image.
Will you be posting about our wedding on your website and social media? Will you be submitting our photos to magazines or blogs?
Unless you request that I don’t, I try to blog everyone. Why? So your friends and family can see how awesome you are! I’ve also submitted and been featured in magazines and blogs for my work. It helps other couples find me! But again, if you don’t want to be famous than let me know!
Whew! I think that is it!
If you have a question that you didn’t see on here, please, let me know and I will answer as best as I can!
If you’ve followed me for a time, you’ve probably learned that I love the craft beer community up here in the Pacific Northwest. So when Kristen and Alex said something about meeting at their favorite pub to kick off their engagement session, how could I say no! Thank you to 5440 brewing for letting us enjoy your patio
The other thing that I absolutely love? Pets. All of them. So, of course, they brought along their pup as well. I promise that if you bring your dog along, I will get portraits of just them for you to have forever.
Since I started in photography with landscapes, I have a few little spots that I’ve mapped out that aren’t so visited. So I mentioned this little hidden spot on the Washington side of the gorge, and we headed right over. It is on public property, and it is easy to get to if you know how to find it. There are no signs and the ones who know where it is, like to keep it a secret. There has been some vandalization to it recently, and we want to keep that down.
This is the old Skamania Stone House. If you do go out the find it, please, treat it with care!
Most of the walls still stand, but its about half a wall all the way around. The fireplace still stands and you can see that some are coming out to enjoy it.
I just love the backdrop that the moss and stone give these two. I think they had some fun out here too.
And of course its the Pacific Northwest, so the rain decided to visit us as well. Kristen and Alex were surrounded by trees, but I always try to have the umbrella with me.
Thank you Kristen and Alex for coming along and playing in the rain for your engagement session! I a excited to see you again in July!
The Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens in Portland are always gorgeous, but add in Amanda and Y-ee, and you have a great way to spend a fall day.
When you first walk in the garden, you can go a few ways, but I love this little waterfall they have there, plus there are rocks to climb around on and have some fun.
When you turn around from this spot, you can see this incredible bridge. The arch is a perfect way to frame these two gorgeous gals. Of course, you have to watch yourself with the ducks. Some of the ducks get a little curious and approach you thinking your camera might be food.
We walked along the water for a bit to enjoy the little path. The beautiful thing with the rhododendron gardens is that the colors change all the time—fresh flowers, changing leaves, and pretty little ways to stop along and have some fun.
Speaking of the stunning landscaping, who doesnt love tress with branches like these and a great view while relaxing on a park bench.
This garden may seem small, but it just keeps going. Another favorite spot is the long bridge that goes over a large inlet from the main lake. I may just be a sucker for architecture.
And guess what, THERES ANOTHER WATERFALL.
Before we headed out, we tried to stop along a beach section, but all I have to say about that is geese are jerks.
We didnt leave entirely though. across the street is actually Reed College and it makes a perfect backdrop for a picnic!
Also perfect? CHAMPAGNE!
Oh man, trying to time the pop from an uncooperative champagne bottle. Amanda wrestled with it while Y-ee did multiple mini celebrations in the hope that it would pop soon.
Congratulations to these two! Can’t wait until August!
Tegan and Justin are so amazing; I brought an entire team with me for their gorgeous wedding at the Victorian Belle.
Not only did I have my associate Bill with me, but I also brought my assistant Ellie and a fantastic videographer, Cassandra, with One Bloom.
This is also our first time at the Victorian Belle.
When we first arrived, we went straight for all of the details. I absolutely fell in love with Tegan’s idea for a guest book. She had a star chart, dated for their wedding date, and had everyone sign that.
The other thing we do right when we get there? Steal the wedding dress!
As you can probably tell by the chandelier below, the inside of the Victorian Belle has tons of fantastic woodwork and has been gorgeously restored.
My favorite thing about bringing my associate shooter Bill with me is that we can split up and capture both wedding parties at the same time. He went upstairs to catch Justin and some of his groomsmen getting ready.
Downstairs, I was with Tegan as she got her final details all ready.
Tegan and Justin wanted to wait to have their first look during the ceremony, so we kept the parties separate and got some fun shots with the wedding parties before we got out to the ceremony.
After this summer’s offseason rain, we got lucky again and got a beautiful day in late fall! While the Victorian Belle does have a large gazebo option in case of rain, Tegan and Justin got to tie the knot outside and in front of the trees. The winding path leads the wedding party and family members around the seated guests and up the aisle.
And my favorite part of the ceremony, Justin’s first look at his bride Tegan.
LOOK AT HOW HAPPY HE IS!
And the beautiful bride Tegan being escorted down the aisle with her dad.
These two were so cute during their ceremony, and there were lots of tears between them and their family members.
We all filed inside the main house once the ceremony was over to sign the license. And guess what, there is a room at the very top of the house, in the turret, for the bride and groom to sneak away and have a few moments to themselves. Well, a little bit to themselves, I snuck up too for a few shots.