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.
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).
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Molton Falls Park is hidden up in the hills of Yacolt, WA. It is known for windy roads, gorgeous scenery, and the occasional Sasquatch sighting. The bridge is iconic in the area and in the summertime, there is no bare patch of shore or water, as it is the popular swimming hole.
Erica and Zach wanted a fall engagement full of color and scenery, so of course, this comes right up!
Everytime I go to this park, I head to the lower viewpoint with the Lewis River meandering under the bridge and the ancient lava rocks exposed on shore. So of course, we stopped there to get everything in the background with these two gorgeous people in love.
One of their friends was at the park hiking around, so he hung out with us and convinced some folks trail riding to let Erica and Zach ride and get some images with. It really helped that one of the horses was deeply in love with the other and wouldn’t leave him alone. So the horses kissing while those two were on them was perfect.
With the sun behind the clouds the entire time, and the trees showing us their fall colors, it gave us the perfect lighting and backdrops to anywhere we went for the day.
So happy for these two and hope that they have an amazing wedding this summer!
You can also read their interview from their feature on Engagement 101!
The day Catherine and Adam’s wedding, a huge wind storm was forecasted for the Portland metro area. So in Pacific Northwest fashion, we played around outside in the wind and the rain to get the fall colors in with Catherine’s amazing bouquet and fall color scheme with her hair and dress.
These two were so amazingly fun together and continued to make faces, tease, and just poke fun to keep each other glowing.
The wedding was in the historic Oaks Pioneer Church which was built in 1851. Being a small venue, the church allows for small, intimate weddings. The ceremony was very short, but sweet and officiated by Catherine’s sister.
After the family portraits on the alter, we headed over to the Hotel Vintage in downtown Portland.
We headed downstairs to the wine cellar where the guests had an amazing 4 course dinner, enjoyed an open bar, and got to play with legos that were strewn across all of the tables. It was a great small reception that allowed the couple to really enjoy the company of all their guests.
With the wind going crazy outside, we decided to use the spiral staircase for some sweet portraits and a quick jaunt outside let us get some of the downtown Portland scene as well.
It was a great fall night, and I hope they are enjoying their recent move to Seattle!
From elopements to small celebrations to grand parties, we capture it all. Contact us to setup a consultation for us to capture your awesomeness.
When you’re looking for a wedding photographer, there are so many factors that influence your decision, including whether or not you like their photography style.
If you have no idea what that means, don’t worry, thats why I’m here!.
I’ve rounded up and broken down some of the most popular styles that are used to describe a photographer’s style.
I’ll try to keep it short, sweet, and give you some examples of what they are.
It’s important to note that some photographers consider themselves to be a mix of multiple styles, but hopefully this post will give you an idea of what styles fit what you love.
A photojournalistic photographer will capture your wedding day just as it is, without interfering at all or directing the shots. You will get lots of candid, natural shots, from a completely different perspective than the traditional wedding photographers. Most of the time the photographer will be on the background and you might not even notice that they are there at all!
Fine Art photographers look for different angles, unusual points of view, reflections and creative compositions, while still capturing the candid shots and formal portraits. Using lights, scenery, and other objects to truly make you images pieces of art to treasure for years.
Natural light is just as it sounds. The photographers use the available light to create their images. This gives a light and airy look to the shots. If you are considering a natural light style, pay attention to the time of day that you are planning your wedding. As it gets darker, experienced photographers will have the cameras that do well in low light, but if they are still building their portfolio, their gear (and the photographer) may not be prepared for the low light and your images may come out grainy or unfocused.
Traditional photographers are just as it sounds. Traditional. Most of the styles that i’ve mentioned above include some sort of traditional style to them. I tend to do traditional formal images for family shots. The photographer also is more hands on and also acts as a coordinator keeping things going and everybody happy! Of course we like to add a little bit of flair to ours.
There are so many amazing photographers out there to check out. Whittling down which styles you like the most can help you get going on where to start!
I love to mix all of them, especially while working with one of my second photographers. They each bring their own experience and style to add on my style.
If you’d like to learn more about my style, book a free consultation! I would love to talk to you more about your ideal wedding images.
Lisa and Zanne contacted me about meeting them in their favorite city to hang out for the weekends, Hood River, OR., for their engagement session. I had only been out there a few times, but from what I visited, I LOVED.
We met at the Hood River Waterfront Park (where I left my husband and his friend at Pfreim to enjoy on their own for a few hours). The setting of the Columbia River Gorge and the blue sky was amazing, however, in Columbia Gorge fashion, the wind was strong.
So I jumped in their car and we headed up to the Gorge Whitehouse. In true PNW fashion, we hit the bar first and all grabbed some of the local ciders that they made there. After some relaxing (and candid image taking) we wandered the grounds covered in flower gardens, orchards, and of course, and amazing view of Mt Hood.
For their wedding, they had chosen to have a vintage affair at Stonehenge Gardens in Hood River. This venue has an amazing farmhouse that has been converted into a bistro with stone laid paths, patios, and hidden trails in the trees. The ceremony itself was going to take place in an open grove among the trees that were just starting to turn the colors of fall.
I met up with Lisa at a house they had rented and Bill headed down to Zanne and her spot at the historic Hood River Hotel.
We met at Stonehenge Gardens at different times and prepared them for a super sweet first look!
The time after the first look and before the ceremony let them mingle with their guests who came in true 20’s fashion!
The ceremony was so sweet, I don’t know how many times Zanne had to pause and wipe her tears during her vows, I think everyone was crying (including us photographers). Their rings were hand forged by a local Portland artist (check them out in the gallery below).
We snuck the couple away to a nearby view of the gorge for a little quiet time and to get some stunning backdrops to their couple portraits. As usual the sunset in the gorge never fails to impress.
Back at the venue there was an amazing dinner, delicious local pies, and dancing. We stole them one more time so that Bill could work his magic with the lights in the arbor!
These two are so amazing together, Bill and I wish them so much love and happiness.