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{Kelsey and Jaremy} An Engagement Session in a Thunderstorm

Kelsey and Jaremy found me on social media, and after a delicious round of beers, they picked me as their wedding photographer!

For their engagement session, Kelsey wanted something out of a fairytale, especially since their beach wedding is Disney themed (I’m doing a happy dance in my head as I type that).

One of my photographer friends recently informed me that Round Lake has its camas lilies blooming and I knew we should at least fo check it out. Fields of little purple flowers, green forest, and raging waters, sounds like spring in the northwest!

We were quite a ways from the trailhead when it started to rain. Luckily, they had their lightsaber umbrella to keep them dry and make some cute shots. We continued to hike towards lower falls as the rain starting coming down harder and then turning to hail. We made it to a rock outcropping that made for a perfect water shot and hung out there trying to see if we could wait out the rain. We couldn’t, it kept coming. We were all (mostly) prepared for rain and headed back towards the trailhead. Stopping along the way to the bridge and under the big tree, we got pretty soaked but had a great time.

Hopefully, their July wedding in Lincoln City will be slightly more dry and sunny! Can’t wait till then!

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{McMenamin’s Edgefield Spring Wedding } Ashley and Nick

Congratulations to Ashley and Nick on their super fun wedding at McMenamin’s Edgefield!

The spring day was a typical Northwest. We were lured outside by the sight of sunshine and then had to dash back inside when we felt the first raindrop. Between all of that, Ashley and Nick are amazing. I could tell that one fo my main challenges would be trying to get these two *NOT* to make faces at one another in the pictures. But of course, we captured those as well.

Mcmenamin’s Edgefield is one of those venues that no matter how many times you go, you always find something new. The vegetable garden and lawns were off limits, as the ground was soaked and the bridal party was wearing heels, and who wants to get mud on their dress?

So my amazing assistant Eleanor and I brought them around to the fun spots that weren’t permeated though with the recent rain.  Old buildings, ivy, and worn wood are always a great backdrop to highlight how amazing everyone looks.

We did the separate parties before the ceremony as Ashley was wanting Nick to see her during the ceremony. I focused on his reaction as he saw her for the first time. The officiant was one that knew the family and made a wonderfully personal ceremony for them both.

After they were married, we took the entire family out to the orchard and tried as hard as we could to keep them all rounded up. We stole the couple after the families were captured and meandered through the property using the just blooming herb garden and wonderful walkways they have hidden all over the place. Thank goodness the rain held off for a bit and gave us some gorgeous golden light.

We are so happy that we got to capture these two amazing people!

 

 

 

 

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Thank You from the Bottom of my Heart.

I’ve been thrown off my usual business schedule these last few weeks after some heartbreaking events involving our pets.

 

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Athena, our 9 year old Rat Terrier, was losing a lot of weight and becoming lethargic. For always being a happy, hyper pup, we knew something was instantly wrong. I took her to the vet who quickly diagnosed her with worms and ran some blood tests. Having 10 acres full of small critters for her to hunt, the worms weren’t a surprise, but the results from the blood test were.

We got Athena 6 months before the birth of our daughter. Wanting a friend for our other dog and knowing that a bond between a pup and a child is amazing, we knew it was the right thing. Little did we know that the Rat Terrier we adopted was full of energy, rebellion, and so much personality. Athena grew up side by side with my daughter. Going on adventures, playing catch me if you can, and dressing up as princesses and going to a tea party. Her moments of stubbornness were worth all the others.

I got the call at work, it was kidney failure. There were treatments, but there really wasn’t a cure for it.

Two days after the appointment, I let our 3 pups outside in the morning to do their morning romp. About an hour later, only 2 came back, Chewbacca and Athena. Odin, the 13 year old chihuahua was no where to be found. We scoured our acreage, drove up and down the country roads, talked with all the neighbors. Nothing. This was very much unlike him.

Days go by and I put up fliers, posted in social media groups, file with the shelters, and post on Craigslist. It’s been 3 weeks now and we haven’t heard a thing.

My husband and I bought a house when we were engaged and I BEGGED him for our own pup. Both of us grew up always having a family dog. He told me no dog until I married him. 2 weeks after we got back from our honeymoon, he brought me to pick up a pup he had picked out. An adorable little black chihuahua. Growing up I always had shorthair pointers or labs, never a small lap dog. I was hesitant, but he insisted that our small backyard would be unfair for a bigger dog.

With my love of Norse mythology, I dubbed him Odin. We were inseparable. He slept snuggled up with me every night, when I sat down, he was in my lap, he was basically my shadow.

About a year ago, he went outside at night and came back in with a giant gash on his side. He wouldn’t hold still for my husband. He ran straight up the stairs, found me, and instantly went into shock. Just taking meds, I was unable to drive. My husband grabbed him and rushed him to the ER vet. He had been attacked by a coyote.

The vet was trying to convince my husband that he would be paralyzed and not make it through the night. He called me with the news. Knowing that he had ran up the stairs to me, I knew  his spine was not damaged and begged him to let him stay overnight and see if he can recover. I went down the next day and he was constantly trying to stand in the vet kennel while full of tubes and IV’s. He had not only made it, but he wanted nothing but snuggles with me. After holding him for about 10 minutes, the vet came in and told me that if i could get him to eat, he could go home.

20 minutes later we were in the car and heading home.

Knowing that the coyotes were becoming a problem, I started searching the Humane Society to see if there were some larger dogs so that we could form our own pack. Low and behold I see a pup that I know!

The past summer, a random dog had shown up on our property and invited himself inside. We came down in the morning to see him curled up on the couch just dozing away! We had doggy doors open to the outside so that our pups could come and go as they needed, and the neighbor dog figured them out. We walked our road to find that he belonged to a large family that was away on vacation and “Cruiser” was on a rope and had escaped. So he became part of our family for a few days until his family returned.

Later that fall, he was taken in by another neighbor who wanted a buddy for his other dog. That neighbor ended up having to move to an apartment and could only take one dog, so he turned Cruiser into the shelter. I think it was fate that day that drove me to find him. My husband went to the shelter on his lunch break, told the Humane Society his story, and came home with a new friend that night. My cousins daughter and my daughter had named him Chewbacca when we came for the sleepover, so his named was changed.

The 3 amigos ran the property together every morning, snuggled in a giant pile to sleep, and tried to steal as many treats from each other that they could.

One week after Athena’s diagnosis, we woke up to her not being able to stand and having a seizure. We were in tears but knew what we had to do the next morning. The husband and I met at the clinic, made sure she was comfortable, and let her go. I think she knew, once we got into the clinic she seemed to give a giant sigh of relief.

That day we picked my daughter up and all went home to support and comfort each other. After lunch, my husband told me to load up Chewbacca, the remaining pup, and head towards the Humane Society. After losing 2 of his best buddies, he was starting to act lonely and not be himself. We were all ready to bring another goofball into the family.

I think that trip helped my daughter and I a bit. We got to meet amazing pups that are so deserving of a home. We didn’t find the perfect one that day, but it wouldn’t be long.

That Friday I spied a pup on their website that I couldn’t scroll past. His name was Zachary, he was  2 1/2, a cattle dog mix, and was transferred from a shelter in California.

I took Chewbacca down to the shelter and met him. He came into the room without hesitation. Greeted the worker and I and just sat at my feet. I knew it was him.

He and Chewbacca had a tense first few minutes, but were quickly exploring the outside meeting yard.

Another meet and greet with our daughter, and we loaded him into the car. He found my heated seats, curled up, and was instantly as ease and fell asleep. There is currently a 60 pound mutt, belly up on my lap snoring away.

Our pets truly become part of our family, losing them is so hard on everyone. I wanted to give back to an organization that has helped us through this and has given us 2 amazing dogs. With Easter around the corner, and idea popped in my head. I only had 1 upcoming weekend open and it was only 5 days away.

Taking Chewbacca down to my studio, I tested it out, posted it online and it was a hit!

5 days later some amazing people brought their pups down to the studio, donated some money, and received some fun images! Nothing like trying to keep bunny ears on pups, especially when their other dog friends are trying to take said ears off of them!

I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for making this a fun and successful event. I will be heading to the Humane Society this weekend and dropping of a check to hopefully help some more amazing pups find their forever home.

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{Highway 101 Road Trip} Day 2 Lincoln City to Bandon, OR

Continuing on our trip along the coast, we head south again along the 101.

First stop? Thor’s well and Spouting horn. During high tide, these two sites are amazing (and dangerous) but our timing wasn’t the best. We had a date with an animal park in Bandon, so we stopped and checked it out at low tide. While it’s still really cool to see, we played along the rocks finding lots of different little tide pools.

We got back in the car and headed towards The West Coast Game Park Safari.

I grew up in southern California and moved to the PNW when I was 8. We were the first in our family to move north, so we would take road trips almost every summer to go and visit. Each time, my dad tried to find a different way with new things for us to check out. One of my favorite routes included this animal park.

From the outside you just see a small building and the entire place surrounded in wood fencing. The minute you walk in you are surrounded by free roaming goats, peacocks, llamas and donkeys. We got a few ice cream cones full of animal feed and headed in. My daughter is a huge animal lover, so she was in complete heaven.

In the enclosures they have foxes, black bears, cougars, tigers, panthers, and a herd of antelope. They have 3 different show areas where they rotate different animals for you to pet and interact with.

We had the pleasure of petting foxes, bears, lynx, caracals, and a baby tiger. It was just as amazing as I remembered when I went there as a kid. It was definitely hard to get my daughter out and to the next camping spot.

This time the KOA was awesome! Large sites, lots of playgrounds, showers, and a little general store where we could stock back up on essentials. We made camp and celebrated our first full day on vacation with amores and Jameson.

 

 

 

Commercial Brewery Photography

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{Highway 101 Road Trip} Day 1 Pacific City to Lincoln City, Oregon

I haven’t shared some of our adventures in awhile, so I thought I would share some of the longer road trips and longer adventures that we’ve enjoyed as a family.

My bucket list consists of visiting all the National Parks. I have been to quite a few, but my family hasn’t, so we starting planning our family vacations around them. My husband’s passion is all things beer, making it and of course drinking it. So when we were planning our road trip down to Yosemite in 2015, I mapped out the trip to cover parks AND beer! And of course, we have our minion, she was 7 on this trip, so all things that we could find for her to enjoy are included as well. One of the other things I think on everyone’s mind is budget. Sure, you could probably find a cheap hotel in all of the locations we went to, but we decided that since we have the gear and love to camp, that we would find and stay in a KOA as much as we could.

We left on a Friday after work, so we kept our first destination just a few hours outside of Portland, OR. For dinner, drinks and sunset it was Pacific City, OR. A gorgeous little beach town and the home of Pelican Brewing.

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When at the coast it’s fish and chips for all! He went for the taster, of course, and I am a HUGE fan of their award winning Kiwanda Cream Ale, so I just had the one since someone has to drive us to our first KOA.

We spent some time on the beach and watched the sun set behind Haystack rock. (Yes, there are two rocks named Haystack on the Oregon Coast).

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After dark, we got back into the car and headed to our first camping spot, KOA at Devil’s Lake in Lincoln City. Of course we got there at dark and had to use our headlights to setup the tent. Luckily we have an awesome setup from Kelty. It’s light enough to backpack and big enough to sleep us three comfortably. You can check it out here if you’re looking for a great, light, easy setup, and comfortable tent.

The daughter and I went straight to bed while the husband stayed up and told campfire stories with our neighbor.

When we woke up I got to check out the full accommodations. This would be my first time staying at a KOA, so I wanted to see what they were all about. We were crammed into small sites with a picnic table, a fire pit, and a small stream behind us. There were spots for RV’s and some cabins, but my first impression, not impressed. However, we were there for less than 12 hours and spent less than $30 for the spot.

We cooked some breakfast (yay cast iron dutch ovens) and headed south on 101. Next up was Thor’s well, West Coast Game Park Safari, and camping at the Bandon/Port Orford KOA.

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{Wahclella Falls Engagement} Melissa and Ethan

I met Ethan a few years back when I volunteered at an event for his non-profit organization. Ethan is the founder of the Tsuga Community Commission. He puts on a summer camp for children of military families every year. Such an amazing person. if you want to find out more, you can head over to his website here.

Fast forward to a few years later and I get a message inquiring about wedding packages from Melissa. After some messaging back and forth, I find out that shes engaged to Ethan. I got super excited to work with them again!

We met for some drinks off Alberta and discussed all of their details. Their wedding? One of my dream locations, Silver Falls Park (also happens to be the location for their summer camp). So where else would we head for their engagement session other than another waterfall.

We met at the Wahclella trail head near Cascade Locks, OR and headed to the falls. It is about a mile hike in, so we stopped plenty and enjoyed the scenery. Fall colors were just starting to hit, so we got some faint hints of color here and there.

This trail never fails to put on a show in any weather. With the multiple waterfalls, gorgeous bridges, and amazing greenery, I can shoot on this trail multiple times and never duplicate an image.

We had some fun climbing around the rocks at the main falls and headed back. Near the end of the trail we spotted a decent sized puddle. I was initially thinking of a reflection image, but Melissa was wearing some amazing rain boots and had a better idea. Ethan, being the good sport that he is, got to stand just to the side of the puddle, Melissa got to jump with both feet and spray him with a decent amount of water. There was just a little problem though, I think more water got into her boots then actually sprayed Ethan. I got the first attempt, but they wanted to try one more. So, with plenty of water already in her boots, she did it again and nailed it! We got the featured image that time and they loved it. I was glad to hear that she had extra shoes and clothes in the car waiting, and that we weren’t too far at all from her getting dry.

I am super stoked to see these guys again in July, and can’t wait to shoot their wedding!

 

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What to Look For in a Wedding Photographer – Part 3 – Personality

 

We’ve already talked prices and experience, now to one of the biggest factors. Personality.

Now it may not sound like its a big deal, but it is and heres why.

When I first meet a couple, there is always the little bit of awkwardness while we get to know each other. Because of this, some of your images can come out looking rigid and unnatural.

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I don’t know what to do with my hands!!

After some shooting, talking, and goofing around, you start to feel more comfortable and I slowly disappear into the background. This allows for you to truly enjoy your moments together and completely forget that I am capturing them as they happen.

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The better connection that you make with your photographer, the more your images will become more  natural and candid instead of rigid and stiff.

Make a list of photographers who fit your style, experience, and price points and setup a consultation with all of them. Most of them will offer a free meeting. This will allow you to see which ones you think you will click with most. Feeling comfortable and confident around your photographer will make a HUGE difference in the day!

If you would like to setup your free consultation with Missy Fant Photography and see if we’re a match, send over an inquiry to info@Missyfantphotography.com . I would love to meet you in my studio or buy you a drink at your favorite place!

 

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{Fall Wedding At Postlewait’s Farm} Holly and Jeff

You know those people who you meet once and there is an instant connection? That was how I felt when we met at our consultation. Maybe it was out love of photography, the excitement for a gorgeous fall wedding, or the fact that we think that Firefly should of NEVER been cancelled. In any case, instant friends.

Bill and I arrived at Postlewait’s Farm in Canby, OR and were in love with the fall colors, gorgeous landscape, and the awesome little saloon they had in the back.

With the recent rainstorms, Holly and Jeff were unable to use the original spot or their ceremony, so they made an amazing ceremony site under the fall trees and an aisle full of fallen leaves.

Inside the barn the girls were getting ready up stairs and the boys were on the other side downstairs. Champagne was drank, gifts were exchanged (with lots of happy tears), and many fun moments were had before we snuck them out for their first look.

We had Jeff face away on the other side of the bridge while Holly came around for their first look. The happiness in both their faces tells you how much these two love each other. One of my favorite moments for the whole day happened next. I took Holly under one of the big trees to take some bridal portraits. At this time, Jeff went over and grabbed the guitar that him and Bill had hidden in the saloon. As I am shooting, Jeff comes up from behind and serenades her with a song. So. Freaking. Sweet!

Their ceremony was gorgeous and full of tear inducing vows and laughter, my favorite!

We went back to the barn for a reception full of dancing, fun games, cake smashing into Jeff’s face, and lots of amazing friends and family surrounding the couple.

As it got darker and the rain started coming down, I headed outside and setup some lights. This makes it so much easier for my couples. No down time whilst I fiddle with my settings, and they get some time to themselves under an umbrella while Bill and I shoot their couple portraits.

The back lit rain shots are always popular, and one of the reason I love working with Bill is the light painting. We brought them over to the bridge wrapped up in Christmas lights and worked in some long exposure work while flashlights we waved around and lit up the couple.

To end the night, the guests grabbed sparklers and we all got to play outside on the patio and send the couple off under an archway of light!

Seriously gorgeous wedding, an amazing fun day, and we were so happy to be a part of it. Congratulations to you two and I can’t wait to hang out with you more.

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What to Look For in a Wedding Photographer – Part 2 – Experience

Ever since the DLSR became a lot more affordable, everyone that has one seems to of become a photographer. With the market so saturated, how do you choose the right photographer for you?

I’m here to try to explain what to look for, what to expect, and how to make sure that you get the images that you and your significant other deserve on your wedding day.

I have already covered style in my last post, if you haven’t read it, you can see it here.

This week, i’m going to cover another area that you need to consider, experience.

Sure, we all start somewhere. That person that just bought that DSLR and needs a portfolio REALLY wants to give you this amazing deal. You could risk it and get amazing images, or you could risk it and get dark, blurry and unprofessional work.

When photographers just start out, they are learning the aspects of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and proper light techniques. By hiring a beginner, your images may come out under/over exposed (aperture/shutter speed), blurry (shutter speed), grainy (ISO), or not being able to perform indoors or in low light (lighting equipment).

 

All of the above images would not of been the same without knowledge of lighting equipment and techniques. Whether working at night, in dark venues, or just balancing the scene so that the sky is exposed correctly, all of them required knowledge and experience.

I know that with experience, comes with a higher price, but there is a reason for this. As photographers gain more experience, they realize that they need more specialized equipment in order to capture the gorgeous images that you are wanting. With that gear, also comes licensing, insurance, taxes and all that other fun “adulating”. That is one of the main reasons that more experienced and professional photographers prices are higher.

Once an amateur photographer takes the leap into going professional, their prices will slowly rise as well.

I always recommend looking through a potential photographers portfolio. In this day of age, it is easy for someone to exaggerate how long they’ve been a photographer and just show images they took over the last year or so. A photographer stating years of experience should definitely have a decent sized portfolio with multiple clients.

The above is work from my first year that I called myself a wedding photographer. It was 5 years after I picked up a camera, 3 years after shooting landscapes, and 2 years after I was shooting portrait session.

Before I even thought about shooting that wedding, I shot portraits and landscapes for years, and I have the portfolio to show for it. My clients can look back at my work for a few years and see my style evolving.

My biggest hurdle was making sure that I could consistently capture great images. I didn’t want to be hired for someones important day and not be able to deliver the quality that they deserved. Once I proved to myself that I had my style and gear in line, I got my licenses, insurance, and all the other things in line to be hired.

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An image from my first wedding! With a few years of landscape experience, I shot it as if I was shooting the landscape…..and just added people!

While not common, images can also be stolen from other photographers or bought as stock images and used in their portfolio. I have had this happen and so have a few other photographers. If you see an image that does not look like any of their other work, ask them about it!

So in all, make sure you thouroughly screen which ever photographer you choose for your wedding. Your images are one of the only things that you can look back and enjoy the day with.

If you’d like get to know more, book a free consultation! I would love to talk to you more about your ideal wedding images.

 

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