Archive for June, 2009

Night Shooting with Art

June 30, 2009

I hate shooting with a flash on my camera, and that’s one of the many reasons I’m glad to have met Art Suwansang.

I met Art when he spoke at the Professional Photographers of Oregon Summer School Convention. Aside from being one of the most down to earth and all around cool professional wedding photographers I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with, he’s also a master of taking pictures at night… and no, he doesn’t use a flash. Art made the trip up from Santa Barbara to hang out with all of us Oregon Photographers out in Bend for 3 days, he gave a killer presentation on some of the latest and greatest photo software from Adobe (he’s one of their product testers) and took us all on night shoot in downtown Bend. It was awesome.

As part of his trip to Oregon he was also shooting a friend’s wedding in Portland. With an extra day to kill, he invited me along on another night shoot. I was thrilled to say the least… The catch was, I had to be the model! I dug my wedding dress out of the closet and breathed a big sigh of relief when I realized I could still manage to fit into it.  from 6-10pm I let him drag me around the city while he and  the rest of the “class” posed me and clicked away. It was kinda nice to be on the other side of the camera for a while, and I learned a ton even without a camera in my hands.

Here’s some shots that Corey took as he trailed along watching my modeling career blossom!




Josh hung out at his apartment near the slums of Nairobi, Kenya expecting it to be just another typical Kenyan evening. He put on some music and layed on the couch recovering from soccer practice while waiting for some friends to stop by and join him for dinner at a nearby restaurant. Whatever he was expecting the night to bring, it’s safe to say he didn’t expect to meet the love of his life.

When his friends finally arrived, an unfamiliar face was with them… Her name was Amy. She followed him into the kitchen as he put a batch of Kenyan Tea on the stove for his guests. Introductions between them were followed by incredibly easy conversation. The group eventually left for the restaurant and Josh and Amy followed, both very aware of the recent sparks that had flown. When they arrived at the restaurant Amy couldn’t find a good excuse to sit next to Josh, away from her friends…but when dinner was over she pretended to let him teach her how to play darts.

Whether it was in the kitchen to the whistle of the teapot, or during the playful game of darts that followed dinner, the seeds of romance were planted that night. The rest is history, as they say.

Josh recently returned home to Oregon last month, taking a break from his professional soccer team in Kenya, the Nairobi City Stars. Amy, a California native, took a break from her elementary education position in Nairobi and returned to the states as well. I took the pair of them to Downtown Portland for a very fun photo session and very good dinner at the nearby Rogue Brewery. In the interest of full disclosure, Josh is my brother in law, and let me just say I think he snagged just about as perfect a girl as exists. I’m extatic to have another lady hanging around the fam and I can’t wait to see them again when they come back home for Christmas.

It’s almost not fair how easy it is when you’re taking pictures of people that are this good looking. Take a look!













Let me start by saying that I’ve learned to deal with (and have come to expect) tight wedding day timelines, stressed out grooms and crazy bride-zillas (don’t get me wrong, weddings are stressful days and I was a headcase when I got married too).  Let’s just say that Ross and Leah-Che don’t really fit the mold.

You see, Ross and Leah-Che are native Hawaiians and just because they are Oregonians now, does not mean they’ve abandoned their care-free island spirit. Ever since their very first consultation their great big smiles, genuine laughter, and easy-going personalities have been a giant breath of fresh air.

If only I could find a way to secretly bottle up and sell Ross and Leah-Che’s immunity to stress and anxiety, I think I’d be a very rich girl.  In fact I probably would have opened up one of those bottles and taken a big swig myself yesterday (their wedding day) when the monsoon-like Oregon rain was beating down on their uncovered ceremony location at the Crystal Spring Gardens or when I realized that the entire dance floor and upper deck of the Willamette Star Dinner Cruise Ship was in serious danger of being closed-off because of the coldness and rain. But, as expected Ross and Leah-Che were unaffected and just kept on laughing, smiling and expecting the best.

In the end, my worrying was wasted. The rain let up just long enough for their gorgeous ceremony, and the dance floor deck of the cruise ship was open all night (and mostly dry) and everyone had a blast.

Mahalo,  Ross and Leah-Che, I can’t wait to show you the rest!


Pretty in Pink

June 12, 2009

I recently met Brittany at the Glamour Hair Salon down in Salem where she works as a hair stylist.  I was there to do headshots of all the stylists while shooting the grand opening party. Even though I was meeting Brittany for the first time it felt so much more like I was catching up with an old friend. Her quick smile and warm, welcoming personality was like a breath of fresh air. So when she asked to schedule a family session, I was overjoyed at the prospect to say the least.

We headed out to the gorgeous Deepwood Estates yesterday and I got to meet her husband John and gorgeous little girl Kiley.  Brittany brought along a pink tutu and string of pearls and once Kiley was all decked out, she was so adorable that I almost died! John’s reserved personality couldn’t cover up the pride and love he has as a husband and father and it was fun to watch him interact with his wife and little girl. I love it when big tough Dad’s turn all gooey inside at a session!








Facebook Frenzy

June 10, 2009

Years ago, when I begrudgingly signed up for a facebook account at the request of my hubs, I truly believed that it was just a fad that would disappear just as quickly as it had emerged (kinda like my pogs and slap bracelets back in the 5th grade)…. obviously my crystal ball failed me on that one.

While I have my gripes about online social networking, I’ve definitely got to admit that I’ve become a facebook faithful. It’s hard for me to imagine a better way for me to stay in touch with past clients while also recruiting new ones. To that end, I’m proud to announce the recent creation of the Alyssa Jul Photography Facebook Page

So, if you please, I’d love to have you as a fan of my page and it really will be an easier way to stay in contact with you as this jam-packed, whirlwind of a summer gets going. Also, to all of my Twittering friends, don’t you worry. I’m sure I’ll be joining you soon as well….. *Sigh* I miss my slap bracelets.

What’s a blog post with no picture?!  Here’s how excited Waylon is for the new facebook page!


With the school year winding down, I figured a congratulatory blog post was definitely in order for all of my ’08-’09 seniors! A high school diploma is no small accomplishment, and I’m so excited for each of you as you turn the corner and prepare for the new and exciting chapters coming up in your lives. Thank you so much for the opportunity to be your photographer, I truly had a blast getting to meet and work with all of you. It wasn’t all that long ago that I was picking out the photographer for my senior pictures and I know that it’s an important decision! It means a lot to me that you would trust me with such an important job. So again, Congratulations – I wish you all the best. Relatedly, I expect that all 88 of you will be calling me to shoot your weddings when the time comes! Don’t be strangers!

*Bonus points if you can find your picture!